New Zealand (NZ) lamb exports were slightly lower (3%) in 2014, compared to the previous year, at 298,231 tonnes swt.
Shipments to the EU declined 5% for the year, totalling 116,787 tonnes swt – largely attributed to an 8% fall in volumes to the UK (59,005 tonnes swt) during the year.
NZ lamb exports to China remained relatively steady year-on-year, at 89,202 tonnes swt, while the Middle East took slightly more (1%) in 2014 than the previous year, at 25,564 tonnes swt. Volumes to the US and Canada were back 2% and 8% year-on-year, respectively, at 17,785 tonnes swt and 8,407 tonnes swt.
During the first month of 2015, NZX AgriHQ report that despite processors being fully booked, demand from China has been subdued in the lead up to Chinese New Year, which has put increased reliance on traditional markets such as the EU and the US. Although, NZX AgriHQ suggest that the EU market may be affected both by their economic situation and by high stock levels of pork which would usually be exported to Russia, but have been stopped by the international trade ban.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand forecast that lamb exports for the 2014-15 season (October 2014- September 2015) will total 297,000 tonnes swt – back 2.6% on the corresponding period the year before.