USDA Market News - New Zealand Meat Export Summary and PricesWednesday, Oct 29, 2003
Beef: U.S. imported beef market plunged 6c/lb after 12c gain of last 2 weeks. Gains or losses of 5c/lb or more are quite rare, on average occurring once or twice a year, but in last 7 weeks there have been 5 swings of this magnitude. Analysts believe record prices for U.S. feedlot beef will cause some consumer resistance, pushing demand down towards grinding beef products, so well supplied by NZ's lean bull and cow beef. Top quality grain fed tenderloins have more than doubled in price in the last year. Asian demand remains strong.
Lamb: Strong Kiwi$ took its toll on market returns for NZ lamb, but slow start to season meant that farmgate returns only slightly weaker on average. With NZ's lamb kill estimated down nearly 2 million head this season, in order to maintain production, average carcass weights would have to increase over 1kg to 18kg. This may be possible but would increase % of heavy carcasses significantly and could lead to price discounts for carcasses over 21kg.