Regional economies in New Zealand earned about $14.3
billion from dairy farms in 2013-14. Photo by Gerard
Dairying proved a cash cow for Otago last season, pumping
an estimated $727 million into the regional economy.
Increased milk solids and a higher payout in the 2013-14
season boosted the value of dairy production up from $535
million in the previous season, DairyNZ analysis has showed.
Regional economies earned about $14.3 billion from dairy
farms in 2013-14, taking the lion's share of national dairy
It was estimated the New Zealand economy earned $17.6 billion
from dairy exports that year.
DairyNZ's recent economic survey showed the industry
contributed about 40% more than the previous year and
injected much of that back into growth, farm spending and
jobs, DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said.
Waikato retained its position as the country's top provincial
performer in dairying, earning $3.8 billion, followed by
Canterbury at $2.77 billion, Southland ($1.72 billion) and
Taranaki ($1.44 billion).
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
the figures for Otago were significant, not only in terms of
the actual number, but also with the growth.
Everyone was well aware how important the dairy sector was
for the New Zealand economy and the fact that Otago was
playing such an important role was ''good news'', he said.
Dairy employees in Otago, which did not count farm business
owners, numbered 1942 in 2012-13, which was 2% of total
The boost to rural economies follows national dairy export
revenue soaring by 30% to 17.6 billion in 2013-14, the
Ministry for Primary Industries' 2014 Situation and Outlook
Dairy export revenue was expected to rise in the future,
reaching $18.4 billion by the year ending 30 June 2018, based
on a modest rise in domestic production, increasing
international dairy prices, and a depreciating kiwi dollar.
A good start to the new milk season was anticipated, with
farmers enjoying a mild winter, although a little too wet for
some regions, Rabobank's agribusiness monthly report said.
May export volumes were up almost 13% over the previous year
as milk production recovered from the 2013 drought.
Export destinations were more widely spread than previous
months as China loosened its grip on New Zealand product and
reduced its share of monthly export volumes to 25%.