Farmer Confidence Down for First Time in 12 Months

NEW ZEALAND - The country’s farmers have experienced their first decline in confidence in 12 months, according to the latest Rabobank/Nielsen Rural Confidence Survey.
calendar icon 24 January 2008
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Results at a Glance
  • Rural confidence has declined for the first time in the past five surveys.
  • However confidence remains significantly higher than a year ago.
  • Biggest falls among sheep and beef farmers.
  • Dairy farmer confidence also moderating.
  • Farm income expectations vary by enterprise.
The survey – taken across New Zealand last month – showed the number of farmers expecting the rural economy to improve had dropped to 34 per cent, down from 49 per cent in the previous survey (taken in October). The number expecting conditions to worsen had increased to 22 per cent, from 10 per cent previously.

Rabobank New Zealand senior analyst Hayley Moynihan said that while this was the first decline in confidence witnessed in the past five bi-monthly Rabobank/Nielsen Rural Confidence Surveys, farmer confidence remained well above the levels recorded 12 months ago.

“The weakening in farmer sentiment is likely to be a reflection of the combined pressures of a persistently high New Zealand dollar which has been dampening returns from exports, the ongoing increase in key input costs and the prospect of a long, hot summer reducing feed availability for many regions,” she said.

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