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NZ drought could expose Pacific economies: ANZ

Wednesday March 27, 2013 - 13:54 EDT

New Zealand's worsening drought could expose the Pacific region to food price inflation according to a report from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.

The ANZ bank's latest forecast suggests Fiji and Samoa are the most likely to be affected by the New Zealand drought, the country's worst in 30 years.

New Zealand-based agriculture economist with the ANZ, Con Williams, told Radio Australia's that depending on the sector and product the drought could influence production for the next two years.

"If you're talking about the livestock sector, they're running down some of their capital stock at the moment because of the drought," Mr Williams said.

"That's going to influence production for the next two years."

Mr Williams says the horticulture sector would recover more quickly if the drought breaks and conditions improve.

The ANZ's report says the economies in Pacific countries could be affected.

The bank says Fiji in particular is growing at a slower pace to similarly rated countries.

"Higher inflation, particularly food inflation, will weigh on other consumption in the Fijian economy," Mr Williams said

"That won't be good for their overall growth profile."


© ABC 2013

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