NZ beef exports gain momentum in April

31 May 2016

In April, New Zealand (NZ) beef exports were 7% higher than the corresponding month the year prior, at 42,550 tonnes swt (Statistics NZ).

For the season-to-date (October to April), however, NZ beef exports declined 2% year-on-year, reaching just over 251,800 tonnes swt – largely underpinned by lower volumes to the US and South East Asia. Shipments to:

  • the US decreased 14%, to 122,786 tonnes swt
  • China increased 56%, to 45,899 tonnes swt
  • Taiwan increased 27%, to 14,710 tonnes swt
  • South East Asia decreased 6%, to 14,064 tonnes swt
  • Canada increased 33%, to 12,907 tonnes swt

Trade to the US is fairly subdued at present and NZ processing levels are anticipated to tighten over the coming months, although AgriHQ indicates that exporters have sufficient buyer enquiry to move the stock they currently have. Demand from China is strong, particularly on the higher valued cuts, as South America is reportedly providing increased competition on lower value products.

AgriHQ report that drier conditions across eastern regions of NZ have seen slaughter levels remain relatively high in these parts over the last week, although it is expected that NZ processors will reduce capacity in June due to lower cattle availability.

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