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High Oil Prices Help Zealand Benefit From Milk Export

Rising oil prices will help New Zealand, the world's biggest exporter

Rising oil prices will help New Zealand, the world's biggest exporter of milk products, continue to benefit from high international commodity dairy prices, the government said on Tuesday.

Oil prices show no sign of declining, so demand from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), who take 21 per cent of New Zealand's total dairy exports, should remain strong, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) said.

The dairy industry is critical to the New Zealand economy, accounting for 27 per cent of all export earnings in the last fiscal year, according to the giant farmer co-operative Fonterra, which is the world's fifth largest dairy company.

The value of dairy exports rose 25 per cent to 10 billion New Zealand dollars (7.3 billion US dollars) in the year ending March 31, despite a drop in production because of drought, MAF said.