The average value for lamb, mutton and beef exports has
increased in the first nine months of the meat export
season. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Lamb exports surpassed $2 billion in the first nine
months of the 2013-14 meat export season for only the fourth
During the period, from October 1 to June 30, the average
value of lamb exports was $8320 free on board per tonne, up
15% on the same period last season. The total value of lamb
exports lifted by 10% to $2.06 billion free on board (fob),
Beef and Lamb New Zealand statistics showed.
Lamb export volumes decreased by 3.6% to 247,000 tonnes
shipped weight in the nine-month period, compared with the
same period last season.
June was particularly low, down 13% on the corresponding
month in 2013, accounting for 40% of the decline in volumes
Exports to the European Union decreased by 5.9%, partly
offset by a 2.4% rise in exports to North Asia.
The change in export destinations included a change in
allocation between chilled and frozen lamb. Exports of
chilled lamb decreased by 6.1%, compared with a 2.8% decline
for frozen lamb.
Lamb slaughter in Australia - New Zealand's main competition
in lamb export markets - was predicted to fall 7% in the
2014-15 season and export volumes were predicted to fall even
That, combined with improving demand from traditional
markets, augured well for prices and could mean opportunities
for New Zealand lamb exporters in the forthcoming season,
Westpac's latest agri update said.
The 2013-14 season had seen high levels of mutton processing
but that was starting to drop off and was expected to
continue easing until the end of the season, Beef and Lamb NZ
The high mutton throughput reflected early processing and the
impact of dairy conversions.
Beef and veal exports increased by 4.4% to 312,700 tonnes
shipped weight in the nine-month period, the second-highest
level ever recorded, while the total value increased by 5.8%
to $1.85 billion fob.
Westpac's report said beef prices had risen further in recent
weeks, as peak summer demand ran into very tight supply in
the United States.
The rise in prices had occurred despite increased supply from
the rest of the world, particularly Australia.
New Zealand had been able to meet this demand to some degree.
However, cow slaughter was heading into the usual slow patch
that followed the end of the dairying season.