New Zealand Agribusiness Outlook 2021

Although the global context is very challenging – with the pandemic still raging, La Niña affecting production, political tensions, and trade wars – NZ ag seems to be in a good position to set up another profitable year.


Report summary

Most sectors are seeing average to above-average pricing and manageable cost inflation, while production is holding up well. However, the 2021 outlook holds some risks, bringing even more uncertainty than most years.

The focus of NZ agriculture on the Chinese market has never been higher, so what happens in China in 2021 will be vital to shaping the year.

Here are the main highlights for some of New Zealand’s key commodities. The full report provides an overview of the developments to watch.
•    Profitable season expected for dairy farmers in 2020/21, with supportive price settings for early 2021/22
•    Beef farmgate prices to remain marginally below the five-year average through most of 2021, due to continuing foodservice restrictions, strong competition from South America, and a high NZD
•    Higher-value lamb cuts export returns expected below 2019/20 levels, due to weak foodservice and incomes in the EU and US, but Chinese demand will help
•    Significant challenges in 2021 in each of NZ’s three largest wine export markets
•    Demand for fresh produce to remain strong, although Covid-19 disruptions to labour supply may pose some challenges

  • Tim Hunt

    Head of RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness - Australia & New Zealand
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  • Emma Higgins

    Senior Analyst - Dairy
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  • Michael Harvey

    Senior Analyst - Dairy
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  • Angus Gidley-Baird

    Senior Analyst - Animal Protein
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  • Cheryl Kalisch Gordon

    Senior Analyst - Grains & Oilseeds
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  • Wesley Lefroy

    Analyst - Agriculture
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  • Charles Clack

    Commodity Analyst
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  • Dennis Voznesenski

    Analyst - Grains & Oilseeds, Animal Protein
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  • Blake Holgate

    Analyst - Animal Protein, Sustainability
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