Primary Sector

Explore the latest primary industry news by BusinessDesk. 

Climate change burden, benefits must be spread fairly
Gavin Evans | Mon, 03 Jun 2019

By Gavin Evans June 4 (BusinessDesk) - Setting stringent climate change targets without understanding their cost or feasibility risks placing an unfair burden on some sectors, climate change professor David Frame says. Moving New Zealand to a net-zero carbon economy will ha...

Fonterra shares, units plumb record lows as milk production falls
Jenny Ruth | Thu, 30 May 2019

By Jenny Ruth May 30 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra shares and units have fallen to record lows after the dairy giant said total New Zealand milk production fell 10 percent in April from a year ago and Australian production fell 10 percent in March. Fonterra Co-operative shares,...

Plan needed for competing wood demands - Fonterra
Gavin Evans | Wed, 29 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 30 (BusinessDesk) - Wood is a viable industrial fuel but greater effort may be needed to ensure that new demand from processors doesn’t strip supplies from existing users, Fonterra says. Co-firing the firm’s Brightwater milk powder plant near Nelson on a...

Innovate on climate challenge or lose the public, Jones tells industry
Gavin Evans | Wed, 29 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 29 (BusinessDesk) - Industry must demonstrate its ability to innovate and respond to climate challenge if it is to maintain the support of the voting public, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. New Zealand First is not going to allow...

UPDATE: RBNZ's Orr sees a 'resilient' financial system but some elevated risks
Jenny Ruth | Tue, 28 May 2019

(Updates story throughout with further details and comment) By Jenny Ruth May 29 (BusinessDesk) - Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr is less concerned about housing loans but is still fretting about a third of dairy debt and is also flagging the rapid growth in lending to the...

Taupo lithium resource potentially economic - GNS
Gavin Evans | Tue, 28 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 29 (BusinessDesk) - Lithium resources in the Taupo volcanic zone are potentially economic but may require conventional open-cast mining techniques if they are to be developed, delegates at the New Zealand Minerals Forum heard. The presence of lithium – a...

NZ beef exporters recover lost market share in Japan as CPTPP kicks in
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 28 May 2019

By Pattrick Smellie May 27 (BusinessDesk) - Beef and sheepmeat exporter ANZCO says sales in the Japanese frozen beef trade are recovering, thanks to tariff reductions for New Zealand produce under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership that allows local pr...

Synlait lifts forecast milk price for 2018/19 season, upbeat about new season
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 27 May 2019

By Rebecca Howard May 28 (BusinessDesk) - Synlait Milk lifted its forecast milk price for the season that just ended on higher global dairy prices and is positive about the season starting in June. The Rakaia-based milk producer raised its forecast base milk price for the 2...

Annual exports to China top $15 billion for first time
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 23 May 2019

By Rebecca Howard May 24 (BusinessDesk) - Annual exports to China jumped 22 percent in April to top $15 billion for the first time, amid growing demand for beef, lamb, logs and dairy products.  Exports to China now account for about a quarter of New Zealand's international...

Fonterra's profit warning increases importance of asset sales - Fitch
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 23 May 2019

By Rebecca Howard May 24 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Co-operative Group's profit downgrade doesn't impact its rating but increases the importance of its asset sales, Fitch Ratings says. Fonterra yesterday cited "heightened risks" in the fourth quarter to the co-op’s previous...

UPDATE: Fonterra says more assets under review as it cuts guidance, narrows forecast payout
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 23 May 2019

(Adds detail throughout, comment from economist on payout forecast)  By Rebecca Howard May 23 (BusinessDesk) -  Fonterra Cooperative Group narrowed the range for its forecast payout to farmers this season, cut its earnings guidance and says it may sell more assets as it sli...

Zespri annual profit jumps 77% on higher kiwifruit sales, increased licensing
Paul McBeth | Wed, 22 May 2019

By Paul McBeth May 23 (BusinessDesk) - Zespri Group says annual profit rose 77 percent as the fruit export marketer benefited from growing global sales of kiwifruit and bigger fees from the licensing of the SunGold variety.  The firm, which markets kiwifruit on behalf of 2,...

Sanford earnings hit by vessel impact from crew death
Gavin Evans | Wed, 22 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 23 (BusinessDesk) - Fishing company Sanford reported an 8 percent decline in first-half operating earnings after the death of a crew member kept one of its deep water vessels in port for three months. The company today reported adjusted earnings before in...

Yili deal a timely cash injection for Westland farmers - ANZ
Rebecca Howard | Wed, 22 May 2019

By Rebecca Howard May 22 (BusinessDesk) - Westland Milk Products farmers will bank - on average - $572,000 from the sale of their shares to Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group if the deal goes ahead, says ANZ Bank New Zealand. Westland signed a conditional agreement to sel...

Dairy product prices fall, halting longest gaining streak
Margreet Dietz | Tue, 21 May 2019

By Margreet Dietz May 22 (BusinessDesk) - Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, ending a record string of 11 consecutive gains, as whole milk powder declined for the fourth straight time. The GDT price index fell 1.2 percent from the previous auction...

Terra Vitae says poor harvest to hit sales, earnings
Gavin Evans | Sun, 19 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Grape grower Terra Vitae has warned earnings will be reduced by a poor harvest. The company, which has vineyards in Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay, says that subject to final pricing, including extra payments for reserve grade wines, it w...

Scales signals earnings growth from reshaped business
Gavin Evans | Sun, 19 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Scales Corp says full-year operating earnings from its reshaped business may rise as much as 13 percent. The agri-business, which last year sold its cold stores and liquid storage operation to expand its petfood interests, expects unde...

Synlait says Munchkin US FDA process on hold
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 16 May 2019

By Rebecca Howard May 16 (BusinessDesk) - Synlait Milk said the registration process required to launch Munchkin Inc’s Grass Fed infant formula in the US has been put on hold to allow the company to look at other options.  Synlait "has been informed that the clinical study...

New Zealand's current milk season looks good but not record breaking
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 16 May 2019

By Rebecca Howard May 16 (BusinessDesk) -  With just over a fortnight to go, the country's current milk season looks to have been a good - but not stellar - year for processors as dry weather at the tail end crimped production.  Production was initially very strong on the b...

Rural Equities sells second-largest property
Gavin Evans | Mon, 13 May 2019

By Gavin Evans May 14 (BusinessDesk) - Rural Equities, the farming group majority-owned by the Cushing family, has agreed to sell its second-largest property as it rejigs its portfolio. Puketotara, a beef and sheep finishing operation near Huntly, covers 1,146 hectares and...

UPDATE: Global ice cream company Froneri snaps up Tip Top
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 13 May 2019

(Updates to add CEO comment throughout, comment from New Zealand First)  By Rebecca Howard May 13 (BusinessDesk) - Global ice cream company Froneri has bought Fonterra Cooperative Group's Tip Top for $380 million, ending a six-month sale process.  The price was about $10...

Synlait may have been too hasty on Pokeno plant
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 12 May 2019

By Jenny Ruth May 13 (BusinessDesk) - Synlait Milk has landed itself in a right pickle after a Court of Appeal judgment that renders its new Pokeno factory in breach of covenants restricting use of that land to grazing, lifestyle farming and forestry. Synlait jumped the gun...

UPDATE: Synait shares dive after unfavourable court decision on Pokeno
Jenny Ruth | Fri, 10 May 2019

(Updates throughout to add further comments from Synlait and from the Court of Appeal judgment.) By Jenny Ruth May 10 (BusinessDesk) - Synlait Milk says it is confident it can find a solution to the ownership problem now afflicting most of the land on which its new Pokeno f...


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