MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE 24 SEPTEMBER 1999
GDP FIGURES REFLECT GOOD FARM MANAGEMENT - LUXTON
Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton said that while the latest GDP figures reflect the lagged effects of the drought,
good farm management in tandem with the seasonal nature of farming, should result in a rosier September quarter.
"Those farmers coming out of the 1998/1999 drought have been holding back stock in anticipation of heavier weights and
higher prices further down the track. The mild winter brought better feed conditions allowing livestock, particularly
lambs to be finished at heavier weights which in turn attract price premiums," Mr Luxton said.
"While the June figures reflect the effects of the 1998/1999 drought, MAF anticipates a compensatory increase in
production in the September quarter from slaughtered livestock to offset the lower kill in the June quarter."
"The agricultural sector is still in a rebuilding phase after two years of drought, while the conditions for economic
growth remain good. The Government has set the parameters for economic prosperity, which has enabled New Zealand to ride
out the impact of the drought. "
"The strong start to the spring indicates that seasonal production levels will be up on both sheep and beef and dairy
farms throughout the country. In addition the outlook for the export sector is also looking up with MAF expecting an
increase in export volumes for dairy in particular, for the year to March 2000," Mr Luxton concluded.