NZ beef exports ease with production

07 July 2016

New Zealand (NZ) beef exports reached 49,161 tonnes swt in May – increasing 4% on the year prior (Statistics NZ). For the season-to-date (October to May), however, beef shipments declined marginally (1%) year-on-year, to just over 301,000 tonnes swt – largely attributed to lower exports to the US.

Over the same period, and underpinning the lower export volume trend, NZ beef production and adult cattle slaughter both declined 5% year-on-year, taking their respective totals to 487,389 tonnes cwt and 1.99 million head.

Eight months into NZ’s 2015-16 season, compared to the previous year, shipments to:

  • the US decreased 12%, to 149,226 tonnes swt
  • China increased 42%, to 53,137 tonnes swt
  • South East Asia increased 5%, to 18,096 tonnes swt
  • Taiwan increased 28%, to 17,955 tonnes swt
  • Canada increased 27%, to 14,210 tonnes swt

NZ beef exports May 2016


More recently, AgriHQ report that demand from US end-users for ground beef has been softer than expected, despite continuing low supplies from both NZ and Australia. As a result, NZ shipments over the last month have been lower than anticipated.

Furthermore, NZ cattle slaughter is winding down rapidly, as is typical for this time of year, and processing capacity will reduce considerably over the coming weeks as some plants have their maintenance shutdowns.

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