Higher NZ exports for the season-to-date

10 March 2016

New Zealand (NZ) beef exports are at 128,437 tonnes swt for the season-to-date (October-January) – up 7% from year-ago levels (Statistics NZ), driven by higher cattle slaughter

After the first four months of the 2015-16 season, NZ beef exports to:

  • The US decreased 16%, to 57,355 tonnes swt
  • China increased 145%, to 25,547 tonnes swt
  • Canada increased 160%, to 8,439 tonnes swt
  • Japan declined 40%, to 4,206 tonnes swt

According to Beef+Lamb NZ, high beef prices at the same time as weak dairy prices last year underpinned the national herd going through a liquidation phase. The subsequent lower production forecast for later this year will result in lower overall beef exports. Shipments are forecast to slip (7%) to 400,000 tonnes swt by the end of the season (Beef+Lamb NZ).

NZ lamb exports have increased (14%) to just over 95,600 tonnes swt for the season-to-date. Assisted by a weakening NZ$, and higher production, lamb exports after the first four months of the season to most markets were up:

  • The UK increased 19%, to 21,816 tonnes swt
  • The US increased 13%, to 6,628 tonnes swt
  • Germany increased 11%, to 5,216 tonnes swt
  • China increased 17%, to 29,596 tonnes swt

Looking forward, NZ lamb exports are forecast to decline 8% year-on-year in the 2015-16 season, underpinned by lower slaughter levels and lighter carcase weights.

NZ mutton shipments mid-way through the season are following a similar trend to beef – up 9%, to 28,344 tonnes swt.

NZ mutton exports to:

  • China decreased 5%, to 14,630 tonnes swt
  • The UK increased 1%, to 2,587 tonnes swt
  • Taiwan increased 96%, to 2,571 tonnes swt
  • Malaysia increased 1%, to 1,622 tonnes swt

With shipments to China lower than the same period the season prior, Beef+Lamb NZ expect more focus placed on higher-value markets such as the EU and the US.

Somewhat overshadowing the increase in mutton shipments for the season this year is the 9% year-on-year decline forecast for season ending shipments, with supply reportedly the limitation.

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