New Zealand exports reach seasonal low during August

Exports of New Zealand dairy products declined in August, as it reaches its typical low point for the year. Whole Milk Powder (WMP) exports reached the lowest total for any month since August 2011. 

The 37,000 tonnes of WMP exported during August was very close to the levels exported in 2009, 2010 and 2011, though it was a reduction of 40% from 2012, when WMP exports dipped but never reached the reductions that are typical of this time of year. WMP exports made up the biggest portion of NZ's exports during August, with just over one third of the total volume made up by WMP.

Anhydrous milkfat exports dropped significantly during August, down to 5,000 tonnes, which was the lowest month for exports since July 2005. Skim milk powder (SMP) exports also had their usual reduction during August, though volumes to China did not drop significantly from July. While most other commodities reach their seasonal low for exports during August, SMP exports typically reach the low point for the year during September.

Despite prices for most commodities averaging about 20-30% higher than this time last year, the total value of exports for August  dropped below the low point of 2012 as the total volumes of all dairy products exported was lower for August than the two years previous. This is unsurprising given the reduction in production that was experienced in NZ towards the end of the 2012/13 season due to drought. In the calendar year to August the total volume of dairy products exported from NZ was down 7% year-on-year, and the total value of those exports was down 4% year on year.

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