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Tractors lead agricultural imports

Tractor imports have remained at high levels in January 2018, continuing the trend for the last year, Stats NZ said.

The value of imported tractors rose $27 million (191 percent) in January 2018 from January 2017. For the year ended January 2018, values were up 51 percent compared with the January 2017 year.

“Imports of tractors can be an indicator of confidence in the agriculture industry,” international statistics manager Tehseen Islam said. “The last time we imported this many tractors was in 2014 when dairy prices were at their peak.”

Imports for other agriculture inputs, such as fertiliser and palm kernel (a feed supplement for dairy), also rose this month (compared with January 2017) and for the year.

Fertiliser imports rose $9.2 million (30 percent) for the January month. Annual imports rose to $653 million, but are still 27 percent lower than the April 2009 year.

Palm kernel import values were up $5.5 million (16 percent) in the January 2018 month, with the quantity up 1.6 percent. Values were 41 percent higher and the quantity was 49 percent higher for the year ended January 2018. From September 2018, Fonterra will penalise farmers for excessive use of palm kernel.

Soya-bean meal (another animal feed) has increased $31 million (33 percent) for the January 2018 year, compared with the previous year.

Source: Stats NZ

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