DairyNZ Econ Tracker

DairyNZ Econ Tracker

Enabling informed decision making with data

The DairyNZ Econ Tracker brings you information relevant to the New Zealand dairy sector right now, in areas including farm economics and international markets.

Learn More

What are you looking for?

Farm Economics

A snapshot of farm-level key performance indicators and important historical trends.

Sector Economics

A high-level summary of key statistics and historic trends related to the New Zealand dairy sector.

International Markets

Key statistics from international markets influencing the New Zealand dairy sector.

Farm Economics

This section explores trends in farm budget items over time. Data for the previous five seasons and forecast data for the current and two future seasons is shown to support you in making informed decisions when it comes to farm budgeting.

In this section, you can find:

Summary of KPIs: Median values are presented for the selected region and ownership type, providing a representative snapshot of farm performance. These figures are periodically updated throughout the season to reflect the latest available data. You have the option to view either actual data or forecasted values for the current season.

Data Reliability: At the start of the season, actual data may be limited, impacting its reliability. As the season progresses and more data becomes available, accuracy improves.
For more information, refer to the DairyNZ Economic Survey.

User inputs


Sector Economics

In this section you can find data offering a snapshot of the current position of the New Zealand dairy sector, whether the sector is likely to expand, contract or maintain its current size in the coming seasons. You can also see the role of dairy in our economy, described in dollars, land use, labour and other quantities.

This section presents summaries of the following:

Note: Time periods included in this section can vary due to the data available.

Sector overview


For more information, refer to the New Zealand Dairy Statistics.

Production and exports


This graph shows the number of workers employed in the New Zealand dairy sector based on 2018 census data. Two occupations related to labour employed in dairy cattle farming are:

  1. Dairy cattle farmers (121313)
  2. Dairy cattle farm workers (841512)

Select the relevant Occupations.

Land use

NOTE: Use tabs to toggle between chart and table.

International Markets

External data sources are used in this section to describe price and quantity changes that directly contribute to the income and expenditure of farmers. You can use this information to understand how major farm expenses are likely to change in the coming years, with an emphasis on commodities and fertiliser.

This section presents summaries of the following:

Note: Time periods included in this section can vary due to the data available.

Global dairy trade


Farm inputs and inflation

Exchange rate, interest rates and OCR

Home Page


The DairyNZ Econ Tracker is an online tool that brings you economic information relevant to the New Zealand dairy sector right now.

Designed with farmers and industry professionals in mind, the DairyNZ Econ Tracker was created to support informed decision making with data when it comes to financial planning, forecasting and budgeting.

The tool offers critical information on international market trends, and New Zealand farm and sector economics from DairyNZ and other trusted third-party sources. Information within the tool is updated quarterly.

Discover the DairyNZ Econ Tracker:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


To provide a single platform for farmers to access critical information related to farm economics, sector trends and international markets. The information is designed to support farmers understand their operating environment and inform business decision making. The information contained in the tool can help farmers deepen their understanding of the current economic environment, including what is happening now and what may happen in the near future.

Due to the size of the farm budget sheets and some of the graphs, the tool is not yet optimised for mobile phones. We suggest using a computer or tablet where possible, or a smart phone with a with a large screen.

The Tracker is designed to be used as a central source of up-to-date farm financial and sector-level economic data. You can find DairyNZ’s most up to date analysis of what has happened, is happening, and is likely to happen in the economic environment. DairyNZ’s Economic Survey and New Zealand Dairy Statistics report can be referred to for further analysis.

Data in the Tracker will be updated quarterly however, not everything will change in each update. For instance, underlying DairyBase data will change annually.

The Economic Farm Survey and Dairy Statistics are annual publications which go into more detail regarding economic performance, and the historic composition of the dairy industry. In comparison, the DairyNZ Econ Tracker presents forecasts of farm financial indicators that are not available in either of these publications. The Tracker,also provides a unique snapshot of the economic situation in the New Zealand dairy sector that is not available in either of those annual publications.

Farm Economics

Generally, we have applied inflation indices to historic values sourced from DairyBase* (DairyNZ’s own benchmarking and industry good data service). In some cases we utilise expert opinion when data or indices are not available.

No, the farm budgets on the DairyNZ Econ Tracker are an indicator of potential future movements. These movements are determined by applying national trends to regional data. Therefore, they do not represent any specific farms, but rather an approximation of the average farm in a region.

All forecasts are based on assumptions about future events and conditions. Our economic forecasts rely on historical data to help project future trends. However, there are limitations in some of historical data series, and economic conditions can change rapidly. As such, the data reported should be interpreted accordingly.
The content reported in the Tracker includes general commentary and market trends. It should not be considered investment advice. We advise seeking independent legal or financial guidance before making any investment decisions.
A full disclaimer on content presented within the DairyNZ Econ Tracker is available in the footer section of this page.

DairyNZ publishes the Economic Farm Survey each year. You can find the latest edition here.

The breakeven milk price is a high-level figure that summarises the milk income required to cover the average costs faced by farmers over the season (taking into account some stock sales/other income). Different organisations use different methodologies for estimating this value, so any comparisons should be made with caution to ensure the methodology is consistent. The breakeven milk price equation used in this instance is:
Farm Working Expenses + Depreciation + Interest & Rent + Tax + Net Drawings.

The breakeven milk price we are reporting is the average across the country, and therefore will not perfectly reflect any individual farm. Instead, it is a useful figure to observe trends over time, and contextualise the milk price.

All milk revenue, including dairy company dividends, are recorded in one line in DairyBase. This means that we account for dividends by multiplying the respective dairy company’s market share by the dividend to approximate the dividend received by the average farm. For example, Fonterra, who represent approximately 80% of farms, announced a $0.50 dividend for the 2022-23 season; this means that the average farm in our 2023-24 forecasts will receive a $0.50 * 0.80 dividend.

The DairyBase is a DairyNZ owned data collection service, database and online tool that records and reports standardised physical and financial information for dairy farms, using key performance indicators and benchmarks. With over 20 percent of New Zealand farms contributing to DairyBase benchmarks, farmers and their rural professional advisors can be confident the benchmark information is extremely robust.

Industry Economics

The data in this section is all publicly available through DairyStats, StatsNZ or the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The links to the relevant publications can be found in the graph captions.

DairyNZ in conjunction with LIC (Livestock Improvement Corporation) publish New Zealand Dairy Statistics annually. You can find the latest edition here.

International Markets

The data illustrated on these graphs comes from trusted third parties (Global Dairy Trade, Yahoo Finance, United States Department of Agriculture, StatsNZ, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Interest.co.nz. These organisations and institutions are responsible for making decisions relating to agriculture, or publishing data highly relevant to agriculture.

Due to some of the data coming from sources external to DairyNZ, we cannot always publish it, and when we can, sometimes it can only be in the form of a graph rather than a table. Where possible in the Tracker, we have included the data to download for your convenience.

Contact Us

Call our Farmer Information Service on 0800 4 324 7969 or email economicsteam@groups.dairynz.co.nz.