The prices of key export commodities have risen for the second consecutive month, driven by dairy and horticulture. ANZ World Commodity Price Index – which measures New Zealand’s main exports – gained 2.9% in September although prices were still nearly 7% lower than a year ago. Dairy and horticulture saw strong increases, offsetting weaker prices for lamb and logs. A softer New Zealand dollar also lifted local currency returns for producers. There were strong gains in kiwifruit with the horticulture index rising 8.8%. The kiwifruit export season has now finished much earlier than normal with the crop considerably smaller this season, so picking, packing and distributing fruit was achieved within a shorter time frame. Aluminum and forestry both saw increases. Log prices are nearly 10% lower than a year ago but China’s demand for logs is steady and stocks of logs on wharves [in China] are declining.