The volume of New Zealand lamb exports is expected to fall by 8.1% during the 2015-2016 season, recent figures from Beef and Lamb in New Zealand show.

Earlier this year, it predicted that export volumes of Kiwi lamb would fall by 6.3%, but the organisation has since revised export volumes downwards.

In its Mid-Season Update, it cites falling carcass weights and a decline in slaughter numbers as the main reasons for the drop.

Exports of fifth quarter products are also expected to fall. These exports are expected to drop by 34% or NZ$169m (€102m) this year on last year’s levels, due to lower export prices for both skins and offal.

If the prediction holds through, it will be the second year that New Zealand export volumes have fallen.

New Zealand lamb exports were down 1.5% to 302,100t shipped in the year ending September 2015 compared to the year before.

However, despite the overall predicted fall, the latest data shows that the total volume of lamb exported over the first four months (begins in September) of the season increased by 15%.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand also expects that mutton exports will also fall.

Mutton exports are set to decline by 9.4% due to the downward trend in production. But, it says that exporters will focus on high-value markets such as Europe and North America.

New Zealand lamb exports

Last year, the EU accounted for 49% of New Zealand lamb exports, while North Asia was the second largest market, Beef and Lamb New Zealand reports.

After increasing year-on-year since 2009-2010, lamb export to North Asia fell 10% in 2014-2015, largely driven by lower export volumes to China.

New Zealand lamb exports

Source: Beef and Lamb New Zealand

Source: Beef and Lamb New Zealand