New Zealand Agribusiness March 2023: Beyond the Floods

Here are the main highlights for some of New Zealand’s key commodities this month. The full report provides an overview of the developments to watch in the upcoming weeks.


- Dairy: Current farmgate milk price forecasts remain under pressure. Dairy commodity prices will likely see near-term headwinds continue before returning to more promising levels in the second half of 2023.

- Beef: RaboResearch anticipates that the North Island bull price will remain stable at current pricing levels in March.

- Sheepmeat: There are further potential downside risks for the lamb schedule in March, but reasons to be optimistic in the coming months.

Consumer Foods: Consumer confidence is starting the year on a weak footing. While 2023 will see peak inflation, a real wage squeeze will see ongoing consumer behaviour shift toward trading down on food purchases and reduced non-food discretionary spending.

- Farm Inputs: “All quiet in the farm inputs front” is not an Oscar-winning quote but defines the current status. There are expectations among stakeholders of how the needle will move when next-season buying starts for real, while stocks are building up. 

- FX/Interest Rates: With inflation still scorching hot, the Reserve Bank shows no sign of backing off. Higher interest rates and inflation are driving down consumer confidence. Labour shortages remain widespread, and wage inflation is likely to remain buoyant.

- Oil & Freight: The year 2023 will be the downcycle in the container shipping market, with capacity improvements expected. Europe’s warm winter has caused energy prices to plummet. However, supply will remain constrained.

  • Stefan Vogel

    General Manager – RaboResearch Australia & New Zealand
    Read more
  • Emma Higgins

    Senior Analyst – Agriculture
    Read more
  • Genevieve Steven

    Analyst – Agriculture
    Read more
  • Angus Gidley-Baird

    Senior Analyst – Animal Protein
    Read more
  • Dennis Voznesenski

    Analyst – Agriculture
    Read more
  • Pia Piggott

    Analyst – Associate Analyst
    Read more
  • Michael Harvey

    Senior Analyst – Dairy & Consumer Foods
    Read more
  • Vítor Caçula Pistóia

    Analyst – Farm Inputs
    Read more
  • Edward McGeoch

    Associate Analyst – Agri Commodities
    Read more