Brexit not causing problem for lamb

Fears of a lamb export market downturn after the Brexit vote are unfounded, as markets other than Britain have picked up the export volume slack.

Encouragingly, the Middle East has increased its share of New Zealand lamb exports from 6.6% to 9.1% over that period.

China and the United States have also increased their shares, ASB’s latest Farmshed Economics report said.

Demand had lifted this year and overall lamb export prices had lifted 6.6% on the back of firm demand so far this season. Prices had lifted in all markets except the United Kingdom.

The price outlook was strong heading into the new season. Lamb supply was likely to lift so prices might "come off the boil" but, with such a high starting point for prices, the 2017-18 outlook was "rosy".

Beef prices continued to soften, with demand from the key US market pulling back from earlier highs and the lift in Japanese tariffs on frozen beef imports.

However, beef market fundamentals remained firm and while prices had softened a touch over the past month, they remained comparable with a year ago.

Prices were expected to largely track sideways over the remainder of the year. Supply remained relatively tight in New Zealand and was similar in Australia.

The outlook was still firm for 2017-18, albeit a touch back from the highs seen over the past season or two.

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