New Zealand Lamb Cut Export Value Picks-up in Jan-Oct 2022 Despite Lower Exports to China

New Zealand
Published Nov 30, 2022
• In Jan-Oct 2022, New Zealand exports of lamb cuts rose 17% in value thanks to a much higher average price.
• China remains the largest market for New Zealand lamb cut exports, but lost some share to several European countries.
• Export value is expected to decline as the average export price started to soften.

From January through October 2022, total exports of lamb cuts (fresh/chilled or frozen cuts, with bone or boneless, excluding other sheep meat and whole or half carcasses) totaled NZD 3.13 billion, up 17% compared to exports in the same period last year.

The rise in exported value comes from a higher average price per kilo, which stood at an average of NZD 13.08/kg throughout Jan-Oct 2022, up 21% from the average of NZD 10.82/kg in Jan-Oct 2021. The rise in prices more than offset a decline in exported volume, which was 239 thousand mt, down 3% from 246 thousand mt in Jan-Oct 2021.

China remained the top exporting destination for New Zealand lamb, although it lost considerable market share. The total volume exported to China represented 53% of the total in Jan-Oct 2021, and it decreased to 43% in Jan-Oct 2022. During this period, exports to China decreased by 21% YoY in both value and volume, while the average export price remained fixed at NZD 8.64/kg.

The US came up as the third most important exporting destination, with export value growing 40% YoY, as a price increase of 42% YoY to NZD 22.15/kg more-than-offset a decline of 1% in exported volume. The US's export share remained virtually unchanged at 9%.

Several European countries picked up China's lost market share. Exports to the UK, which remained as the second largest export destination for New Zealand lamb, climbed 31% in value and 10% in volume in Jan-Oct 2022. The UK's market share in terms of volume climbed from 10.7% to 12.0%. Meanwhile, exports to Germany rose 64% in value and 33% in volume. Germany's volume market share rose from 3.7% to 5.1%. Exports to the Netherlands rose 42% in value and 17% in volume, and Netherland's market share climbed from 4.1% to 5.0%. France's and Belgium's market share also increased, as exports to both destinations grew YoY in both value and volume. Behind Europe’s increased market share is the higher average price paid for New Zealand’s lamb cuts. The average price of exports to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the Netherlands was NZD 16.54/kg, compared to China’s NZD 8.64/kg.

Source: Tridge and Stats NZ

Lower lamb and mutton export value expected for the 2022-2023 season as prices continue to decline.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand expects a decline of 5.7% in lamb and mutton export value for the 2022-2023 season, which runs from October 2022 through September 2023, as it expects a similar decline of 5.5% in value/kg during the period, while expecting export volume to remain flat YoY. Indeed, the average export price of lamb cuts is currently in a downward trend, with the average export price in October, at NZD 12.98/kg, down 5% from the recent peak of NZD 13.71/g in March.

Source: Tridge and Stats NZ

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