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USDA Market News New Zealand Meat Export Summary and Prices

Beef: U.S. beef market continues its dismal run, with imported cow beef slumping to 4 year low. Exporters pinning hopes on warmer weather and Memorial week-end to boost demand. Asia remains difficult but signs that domestic consumers are venturing out again as tide is turning in battle against SARS. With tourist numbers still light, there is little chance of much improvement in short term for high quality prime cuts. Many Asian countries have special holidays coming up and are typically time of subdued demand.

Lamb: Lamb continues to be rock in stormy seas of international trade. Over last year returns for wide range of cuts have varied by only few percent in foreign currency terms. Although pelt returns weakening a little at the moment, even they have been relatively steady over the last year. Easter consumption in UK and Europe was up with expectations, which bodes well for rest of the season. Supply is likely to be tight from 3rd quarter onwards. As production falls, farmgate prices are starting seasonal rise.

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