Rising concern over commodity prices next year has pushed New Zealand farmer sentiment to a record-low. The latest Rabobank Rural Confidence survey completed late September was before last weeks increases in the dairy auction and Fonterra payout forecast. It found farmer confidence was well back on the already low confidence reading in June at minus 57% and is now at minus 72% – the lowest reading in the 20-year history of the survey. It eclipses the previous record low of negative 71% last year. 77% of farmers are expecting conditions to worsen over the next 12 months up 12% on the last quarter. 15% expect conditions to stay the same 24% previously. Rabobank New Zealand banking general manager Bruce Weir says lower commodity prices are the chief source of farmer anxiety… That may change now with the price improvements last week. The survey found farmers’ second-most pressing concern is rising input costs at 46% while other concerns were Government policies at 35%, overseas markets at 29% and rising interest rates 18%.
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