New Zealand farmers export more meat for less money

New Zealand’s red meat export revenue is down for the six months to March 31, despite increased shipments and depreciation of the New Zealand dollar.

According to analysis by Beef + Lamb New Zealand‘s Economic team, the first half of the 2015-2016 meat export season shows lamb tonnage up almost 6% to 162,700t.

This was worth NZ$1.38 billion – an increase in value of 1.5% for the same six-month period during the previous export season.

Lamb export returns were boosted by a 5.9% increase in shipments, owing to an early processing season in New Zealand and a softer New Zealand dollar.

Shipments of New Zealand lamb to North Asia and the European Union were up 11% and 7.2%, respectively, which was partly offset by 10% lower shipments to the Middle East.

Over the first half of the season, the average value of lamb exports was down 4.2%, despite a softer New Zealand dollar (NZD) partially offsetting the decrease in international prices.

Without the effect of the softer NZD, average values would have been down about 14%.

Compared to the same period last season, New Zealand beef and veal shipments were down 3.7% in the first six months of the 2015-16 season, despite being up 15% in the first three months.

The average value in NZD of chilled beef exports was up 11% in the first half of the season, while frozen beef exports averaged 4.3% less than the same period last season.

“It is important to note that these variations include the gains from a softer NZD,”  a Beef + Lamb New Zealand statement said.

“When looking at the exports traded in US dollars, the average value expressed was down 3.9% for chilled New Zealand beef and 18% for frozen.

“This highlights that average values in NZD would have been down considerably more on the previous season, without the NZD depreciation.”

The volume of exports to North America – the largest destination for New Zealand beef and veal exports – was down 15% in the first half of the season, with the majority of this decrease occurring over January to March 2016.