NZ lamb shipments amidst peak season

31 May 2016


New Zealand (NZ) lamb exports in April – one of the peak months of the NZ season (February to May is typically the peak period) – reached 34,795 tonnes swt, up 16% year-on-year (Statistics NZ).

This brought the season-to-date (October to April) total to 200,601 tonnes swt – an increase of 7% on the corresponding period the previous year.

Most of NZ’s major export markets registered volume growth for the season-to-date, compared to last year, with shipments to:

  • China up 16%, to 65,123 tonnes swt
  • UK up 7%, to 43,844 tonnes swt
  • US up 11%, to 11,990 tonnes swt
  • Germany up 5%, to 11,326 tonnes swt
  • The Netherlands up 31%, to 6,761 tonnes swt

This week, AgriHQ report that the anticipated contraction of NZ’s lamb slaughter is playing to the exporters advantage, with returns on cuts sold to China, the UK and Europe increasing somewhat, as buyers try to secure product. Buyers from the Middle East are reportedly becoming more active, largely due to declining inventory levels, which has heightened competition for Chinese buyers. Inventories in China have also lowered, placing further upwards pressure on prices.

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