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USDA Market News - New Zealand Meat Export Summary and Prices

Beef: Last week most beef markets and exchange rates reasonably steady, with Agri-Fax market indicators changing little. U.S. market somewhat subdued, and is expected to remain so until Easter holiday period consumption is determined. Asian prices have been very good but prices expected to fall soon due to SARS epidemic. Australian processing is up again with levels 25% above last year. One of factors that kept U.S. manufacturing beef prices down over last year has been the 46% price rise in fat trimmings (50% lean).

Lamb: Most of NZ markets remain steady and strong. Seasonal weakness in legs in UK over their summer is expected, but prices should lift again over last 1/3 of NZ season because of low NZ processing levels. Expected to be about 700,000 (8%) less lambs to process before October than for same period last year, due to early slaughter pattern. With market returns steady, NZ exporters followed suit with very few schedule changes.

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