Lower lamb numbers during the first half of the meat export
season have been offset by an increase in average value,
which has seen the total value of exports rise by 11%.
Beef and Lamb New Zealand has released lamb, mutton and beef
export statistics for the first six months of the season,
from October 1 to March 31.
Total lamb exports decreased by 2.5% compared with the
corresponding period last year, which reflected a smaller
But the decrease in volume, to 158,200 tonnes shipped weight,
was offset by a 14% increase in average value, resulting in
the total value of exports increasing by 11% to $1.3 billion
The European Union remained the largest market region,
accounting for 42% of New Zealand's lamb exports by volume
and worth $675 million FOB.
North Asia accounted for 33% by volume and was worth $311
million FOB. However, the EU's market share was on a downward
trend while North Asia was trending upward.
Total returns achieved from North Asia averaged $6000 FOB per
tonne, compared with $10,200 FOB per tonne from the EU,
reflecting the different product mixes exported to the two
Mutton exports increased by 26% during the six-month period,
reaching a record high of 61,700 tonnes shipped weight and
reflecting an early processing season.
It was expected they would drop in the second half of the
season, resulting in a year-end total lower than last season.
The total value increased by 44% to $330 million FOB.
Total exports of beef and veal were almost unchanged, down
only 0.4% on the same period in 2012-13 at 189,600 tonnes
shipped weight, while the total value increased slightly to
$1.1 billion FOB.
Rabobank's latest agribusiness monthly said the South Island
lamb price was 20% higher at the first week of April than the
corresponding week last year, averaging 519c/kg carcass
Lamb slaughter during April, at 2.95 million head, jumped 4%
year-on-year although slaughter volumes for processing were
back 3% or 300,000 head year-to-date.
In a commentary on the red meat industry this week, Federated
Farmers chief executive Conor English said until meat farmers
produced or invested more per hectare, or meat companies were
able to extract far more significant returns from the
marketplace, the relative gross income gap between meat and
dairy farmers would likely continue.
Some great progress had been made by both farmers and meat
companies ''however we need to keep at it'', Mr English said.