Kiwi exporters are positive about the year ahead, and believe the Rugby World Cup is set to give a much-needed boost to the industry.
While exchange rates, fuel prices and the Christchurch disasters topped the list of factors that negatively affected exporters in the past 12 months, the 2011 latest DHL New Zealand Export Barometer found exporters are positive about the year ahead with 70 percent expecting orders to increase.
In contrast, the Australia Export Barometer found the strong dollar and natural disasters at home and overseas had significantly dented the confidence of exporters there.
Phil Corcoran, DNL New Zealand national sales manager said some of that confidence could be attributed to the Rugby World Cup effect.
"Rugby World Cup 2011 has put a bit of energy into the sector, with 40 percent saying they believe it will have a positive impact on their business' bottom line."
Nine out of 10 of those who believe it will have a positive impact say this will continue into 2012 and beyond.
Those exporting to Korea, China and Taiwan were most confident about orders increasing, reinforcing the increasing reliance on Asian markets.
While Australia continues to be the top export destination, China emerged as another top export destination in 2011, coming in ahead of North America, Europe and the UK for the first time, he said.
Online commerce was also presenting growth opportunities for exporters.
"Half of the exporters surveyed reported an increase in the levels of online commerce they have undertaken in the last year. Although competition has increased, e-commerce is making it easier for exporters to reach out to a wider market and will help many businesses react to opportunities in a timely and efficient way," Corcoran said.
"Almost a third of New Zealand exporters say they rely on social media for their marketing. This is a huge percentage when we consider that the export industry is mainly made up of people who haven't grown up with this technology as the norm."
In contrast, the DHL Australia Export Barometer found the strong dollar and natural disasters at home and overseas had significantly dented the confidence of exporters there.