WELLINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's agricultural exports continued to surpass expectations, with revenue forecast to grow 7.1 percent on the previous financial year, New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor announced Thursday.
New Zealand's primary industry revenue was forecasted to reach 45.7 billion New Zealand dollars (30 billion U.S. dollars) for the year to June 2019, slightly above the March 2019 forecast, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries' Situation and Outlook report for June 2019 released Thursday.
It was the second straight year of substantial export growth, with significant gains across most primary industry products.
"Export performance is up nearly 7.5 billion New Zealand dollars over the last two years. That's incredibly impressive considering the weakening global economic environment and a rising sense of uncertainty in global markets," O'Connor said, adding that "sustained demand from China and South East Asia is supporting prices for dairy exports."
Horticulture and pasture-based production excelled in most areas, with red meat weights and milk production both high, and kiwifruit production up 25 percent on the 2018 harvest.
"Growers are anticipating good demand for New Zealand apples from UK and continental Europe, as well as China, following the market success of new varieties," O'Connor added.
A focus on higher value products, combined with ongoing favorable exchange rates, is expected to support export revenue growth the next year.