NZ lamb exports to China recover, Europe down

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Production of sheep meat in New Zealand was down 18% during April, at 33,900 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Primary Industries. Strict COVID-19 social distancing regulations were behind much of this decline, which cut processing capacity. During quarter one, production in New Zealand was running roughly in-line with year earlier levels.

Exports from New Zealand were subdued during quarter one, largely because of the closure of the Chinese market due to coronavirus. April brought with it a change in dynamic. With many Asian countries, including China, beginning to recover from coronavirus, shipments increased. Exports to Europe however dropped, as demand was weak, also due to coronavirus.

Total export volumes were down almost 5,000 tonnes, to 40,700 tonnes, according to Statistics NZ. However, volumes to China were up marginally on-the-year, to 21,000 tonnes. This was not enough to offset declines to other markets including the UK. Shipments to the UK fell by 1,800 tonnes, to 3,200 tonnes.

Rebecca Wright

Analyst - Red Meat

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