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NZ Lamb Shipments, Export Returns Increase

18 April 2016

NEW ZEALAND - The first half of the 2015–16 meat export season ended on 31 March 2016 and analysis by Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Economic Service shows that red meat (including beef, veal, lamb and mutton) export revenue is down, despite increased shipments and some depreciation of the New Zealand dollar (NZD).

Lamb: Large shipments in the first half of the season

New Zealand lamb export returns totalled $1.38 billion between October 2015 and March 2016 – up 1.5 per cent on the same period last season.

Returns were boosted by large shipments (+5.9 per cent), courtesy of an early processing season in New Zealand and a softer NZD. Exports were significantly higher than last season from October to January, but were down during February and March 2016.

Shipments to North Asia and the European Union increased significantly – up 11 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively. This was partly offset by lower shipments to the Middle East.

In the first six months of the season, lamb exports to the Middle East reduced by about a third, compared with the previous season. This reduction was accompanied by a decline in the average value of lamb exports – down 10 per cent.

Chilled lamb export volumes were up 12 per cent in the first six months of the season, while frozen lamb exports were down 3.6 per cent. Chilled lamb exports accounted for 29 per cent of lamb shipments in the first half of the season – up from 27 per cent over the same period last season.

Over the first half of the season, the average value of lamb exports was down 4.2 per cent, despite a softer NZD partially offsetting the decrease in international prices. Without the effect of the softer NZD, average values would have been down about 14 per cent, instead of 4.2 per cent.

Mutton: Mutton shipments remain unchanged

Mutton export volumes remained broadly unchanged (+0.5 per cent), at 51,200 tonnes in the first half of the season.

Export volumes to New Zealand’s largest destination for mutton exports, North Asia, were down 9.4 per cent, while exports to the European Union, South Asia and North America all increased significantly.

In the first six months of the season, the average value of mutton exports decreased 10 per cent compared with the previous season. The largest decrease in average value occurred in North Asia. However, decreases occurred in all major regions.

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