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Ongoing market challenges weigh on New Zealand farmers

Published: Thu 31 Mar 2016 12:36 PM
Ongoing market challenges weigh on New Zealand farmers, with confidence close to 10-year low
The significant and persisting challenges in market conditions continue to weigh heavily on the nation’s farmers, with New Zealand’s rural confidence at the second lowest level recorded in the past 10 years, the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has shown.
Completed earlier this month, the survey found more than half of farmers surveyed (53 per cent) had a pessimistic outlook on the agricultural economy over the coming 12 months. This was significantly up from 30 per cent with that view in the previous survey, in late 2015.
Only 11 per cent were expecting conditions to improve – less than half the 24 per cent who had an optimistic view in the last quarter.
With 34 per cent expecting the agricultural economy to remain the same as the previous year, the net rural confidence reading for this quarter came in at -42 per cent, down from -6 per cent in the previous survey.
There was some positive news though in the horticulture sector, with growers having an increasingly optimistic outlook on their business performance in the year ahead.
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