WELLINGTON Nov 6 New Zealand's farmers were the
most confident in five years in September, bolstered by the
prospect of a record payout by dairy giant Fonterra and
improving prices for other commodities, a survey said on
The Rabobank survey said a net 48 percent of respondents
were optimistic about the general outlook for the farming sector
over the coming year, compared with a net 46 percent in the June
More farmers were optimistic about their own business
outlook as well, at a net 52 percent level against 45 percent in
the previous quarter.
Rabobank said a combination of weather and markets was
behind the lift in sentiment.
"The current favourable climatic conditions, combined with
improving product returns across most agricultural sectors, have
increased confidence even further this year," said Rabobank New
Zealand chief executive Bruce Russell.
Agricultural produce accounts for about half of New
Zealand's NZ$46 billion ($38.6 billion) annual export earnings.
The sector was badly hit by a severe drought at the
beginning of the year, which sharply reduced milk production and
led to the early slaughter of animals.
Dairy farmers remain the most optimistic, buoyed by the
forecast of a record payout by the New Zealand based Fonterra
However, Russell cautioned that it is likely that current
high global dairy prices will not be sustained next year.
Sheep and beef farmers were also more positive with higher
prices being reported at the start of the processing season.
The survey of 450 farmers also showed a slight increase in
investment intentions, and a rise in the number who regarded
their farm as financially secure.
(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Kim Coghill)