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Event Details

Drought event report

Category: Drought
Observation: 01.04.2013
Continent: Australia & New Zealand
Country: New Zealand
State: North Island
Area: NI-wide
Severity: Hight
Event details
New Zealand is experiencing its most widespread drought in at least 30 years, the government said today, as dry conditions across the North Island threaten economic growth and cause global milk prices to rise. “Nearly all farmers in every part of the North Island are facing very difficult dry conditions,” Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy said in a statement. It’s the first time in at least three decades the entire island is suffering from drought, his spokesman Phil Rennie said by telephone. Finance Minister Bill English warned this week the drought may curb economic expansion in the nation, where dairy exports of NZ$11.4 billion ($9.4 billion) last year made up 25 percent of all merchandise shipments abroad. The local dollar is heading for a fourth weekly decline, which would be the longest losing streak since May, after the central bank held the cash rate at a record-low yesterday and cited concerns the dry conditions may “substantially reduce economic output.” Economists at Bank of New Zealand Ltd. reduced their projection for first-half economic growth to 1.1 percent from 1.3 percent because of the drought. Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. (FCG), the world’s biggest dairy exporter, last month revised lower its forecast for milk collection. Whole-milk powder auction prices climbed the most in two-and-a-half years at the last Fonterra auction on March 6, as the dry conditions curbed supply.
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