Rabobank’s first quarterly survey among NZ farmers has revealed confidence has lifted slightly since the previous survey in December but remain very low with a net confidence reading of -58%, up from -71%. The number of farmers expecting conditions to improve rose to 5%, up 1% from the December quarter, while farmers expecting conditions to worsen improved from 75% to 63%.
Dairy farmers were even more pessimistic than other commodity groups about the broader agri-economy than they were last quarter. NZ CEO Todd Charteris said slower dairy demand out of China and increased global dairy supply were depressing global milk prices in the early part of the year. The prospect of a lower milk price payout along with ongoing elevated farm input prices further eroded the already softening confidence of NZ’s dairy farmers.