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NZ Calf Kill Drives Exports

19 November 2009
Meat & Livestock Australia

New Zealand - Despite the appreciating NZ dollar, which averaged 20 per cent higher year-on-year in October at 74USĀ¢, New Zealand beef and veal exports rose 36 per cent over the month, to 16,461 tonnes swt.

Manufacturing product contributed close to half of the shipments, while bobby veal exports (2,894 tonnes swt) were very high at 18 per cent of the total according to figures from the New Zealand Meat Board.

Analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia said that shipments rose 36 per cent to the US (7,298 tonnes swt) and 43 per cent to South East Asia (1,800 tonnes swt), but declined 23 per cent to Canada (565 tonnes swt). Volumes also rose sharply for the month to Japan (1,489 tonnes swt) and Korea, up 36 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively, (1,462 tonnes swt), but remained well below their five-year averages.

NZ cattle slaughter usually peaks around August/September, with 2009 being no exception. Over one million calves and vealers (many of them a by-product of the dairy industry) were slaughtered over the two months, representing 86 per cent of the total cattle kill for this period (StatisticsNZ).

Cattle prices in New Zealand have been affected by the higher NZ$ and sluggish demand in overseas markets, with direct to processor rates in October averaging 36-47 per cent below a year earlier (NZAgrifax). However, cattle slaughter for the 2009/10 year (October-September) is forecast to fall 5 per cent, and it is likely that tighter supplies, when they eventuate, will provide some price stability for cattle producers.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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