A smaller lamb crop contributed to a decrease in total exports over the period (1 October 2013 to 31 March 2014), down 2.5%, to 158,200 tonnes (t), compared with the same time last year. However, average value was up 14%, which resulted in total exports worth NZ$1.33bn free on board (FOB).
Exports of mutton increased significantly – up 25.9% in volume – due to an early processing season, said the association, adding that this was expected to balance out in the second half of the season. Exports averaged NZ$5,310 FOB per tonne, up 14% on the same period last season, with tonnage reaching a record high of 61,700t shipped weight. The total value of exports increased 44% to NZ$330m.
Meanwhile, exports of beef and veal decreased by 0.7% TO 189,600t shipped weight. The total value of exports rose slightly to NZ$1.1bn FOB. Exports to North America, North Asia and the European Union declined over the period, but exports to South Asia and the Middle East were up. Indonesia increased its imports of NZ beef and veal fourfold over the period.
While the European Union still remains the largest market for New Zealand lamb exports – accounting for 42% of all exports by volume, and worth NZ$675m FOB – its share is on a downward trend, said the report. North Asia, NZ’s second-largest export market – accounting for 33% of exports – has been increasing its exports.
Demand for mutton from China has seen its market share for exports increase from 52% in the first half of the 2012-2013 season, to 72% this year. Exports to the United Kingdom, NZ’s second-largest mutton export market, fell over the same period.