Exporters are optimistic about the coming 12 months, according to the results of the ExportNZ 2012 survey, with more than half expecting profits to improve and over a third expecting to employ more staff.
A fifth expect orders to rise substantially and 49 percent said they expected orders to rise slowly.
The top five export destinations for respondents were Australia, North America, Europe (including the UK), China (including Hong Kong) and ASEAN, with Australia, North America and China tipped as growth areas. Forty percent of respondents expect to enter new markets in the next 12 months.
Catherine Beard, executive director of ExportNZ, said the survey (with a sample size of 169) showed the majority of exporters "are still in a positive frame of mind despite exchange rate challenges and the lacklustre growth affecting some parts of the world economy".
When asked about the main obstacles to exporting or exporting more, the top four issues were demand offshore, exchange rate volatility, funding for developing export markets and price competitiveness.
The Ports of Auckland dispute affected 28 percent of Auckland respondents negatively and 15 percent of Tauranga exporters. Dollar figure losses ranged from $5,000-250,000, with one respondent having lost $4,000 a week.
When asked if the government was doing enough to support exporting 61.3 percent said no (down from 65 percent last year) and when asked what kind of government assistance was favoured, the majority said export market development, followed by R&D assistance. When asked more generally what the priority issues were, development or venture capital was most important, followed by export market development and R&D.See the full report here.