Farm sales were down by a quarter in the three months to June compared to a year earlier, while prices were up for all farm types except dairy farms.
The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand recorded 322 farm sales in the second quarter of this year, down 24.6% compared to the same period of last year.
In the 12 months to June, sales were down 9.3% compared to the previous 12 months, with all farm types showing a decline.
Dairy farm sales were down 37.4% compared to the previous year, with arable farms sales down 18.8%, finishing farms down 14.2% and grazing farm sales down 5.9%.
However, prices headed in the opposite direction and remained in positive territory for the year.
The REINZ All Farms Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of farm sales by type, size and location, was up 7.3% in the second quarter compared to the same period of last year.
But dairy farm prices appear to be almost flat, with the REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of farms sold by size and location, falling 1.1% in the three months to June compared to the same period of last year.
"The non-dairy sector is holding value more strongly than the dairy sector," REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.
"Product prices for beef, lamb and horticultural products remain strong and are improving, and while indications for dairy seem reasonable, volatility in that sector remains constant," he said.
Peacocke also issued a warning about farmers becoming too dependent on the Chinese market.
"The recent drop in log prices of between 15% to 20%, predominantly related to the Chinese market, is a reminder of becoming too dependent on one market, particularly one that has taken approximately 42% of our lamb exports this year, plus a significant amount of our beef and horticultural production for the season," he said.
"The need for market diversity is also a constant."
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