New Zealand agribusiness May 2024: Loitering headwinds in China

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

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Dairy: Rabobank expects improvement – albeit slow – in commodity prices over the remainder of the year thanks to weak milk supply, but the journey will likely be fraught with headwinds from our major market, China.

Beef: With farmgate pricing tracking 10% above five-year averages, the New Zealand winter months are looking favourable for more of the same with US summer grilling season kicking off.

Sheepmeat: High lamb slaughter numbers have been seen over the last weeks of autumn with the suggestion that procurement pressures will bump prices up a notch and the season low has passed.

Farm inputs: Farm input markets remain quiet as demand is soft and supply outputs are steady. On the other hand, high freight prices are negatively impacting further farmgate price reduction.

Interest rates and FX: A sharp rise in unemployment in Q1 gives hope that the RBNZ’s dose of economic cod liver oil is working. This month will be a key point of interest. but persistent non-tradeable inflation remains a problem.

Oil and freight: Brent crude oil rose again in April to mark the fourth-straight month of gains, but has since fallen substantially to USD 83/bbl. Slower-than-expected growth in the US and de-escalation in the Middle East pressure prices.

  • Stefan Vogel

    General Manager – RaboResearch Australia & New Zealand
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  • Angus Gidley-Baird

    Senior Analyst – Animal Protein
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  • Emma Higgins

    Senior Analyst – Agriculture
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  • Jen Corkran

    Senior Analyst – Animal Protein
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  • Michael Harvey

    Senior Analyst – Dairy & Consumer Foods
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  • Anna Drake

    Sustainability Analyst
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  • Pia Piggott

    Analyst – Associate Analyst
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  • Vítor Caçula Pistóia

    Grains & Oilseed Analyst
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