Demand for beef and lamb had pushed prices up to record highs. Photo / 123RF

Through RNZ

High prices for dairy products and meat have pushed the country’s commodity exports to record levels.

ANZ Bank’s commodity price index rose 2.8% in November from the previous month, 26.1% ahead of a year ago.

Agro-economist Susan Kilsby said dairy prices rose 6% during the month, supported by butter and cheese.

“Global milk supplies are relatively tight… all dairy products have strengthened over the past month and this trend is expected to continue into 2022.”

Likewise, demand for beef and lamb had pushed prices up to record highs, while higher kiwi prices supported the wider horticultural sector.

“Labor and packaging plant limitations have forced Zespri to reconsider the rate at which the industry can grow and he has downgraded the volume of SunGold licenses that will be available next year,” Kilsby said.

“But the next harvest should be larger than this season, as previous plantings begin to reach fruiting age, which will add to the already strained labor requirements next season.”

On the downside, prices for forest products fell 5.7% due to reduced demand from China, and aluminum fell 10% due to uncertainty caused by the new variant of Covid -19, Omicron.

Kilsby said there had been some easing in high transportation costs, but they remained volatile and unstable and could be expected to remain “high” until 2022.