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USDA Market News - New Zealand Meat Export Summary and Prices

Beef: Imported and domestic grinding beef prices surged 5c/lb last week as end users struggled to secure product, especially for immediate delivery. NZ bull & cow now at 124c and 113c/lb U.S. respectively and are highest prices in almost a decade. Asian markets also very strong as importers try to build stocks before arrival of host of festivals and special holidays in January. Even though some NZ companies have now used up their U.S. quota they are not seeking alternative markets at any cost because beef is in short supply and expectation is for a minor U.S. price drop in January 2004.

Lamb: With shipping deadline closing, processing for EU Christmas market is all but over. Volume of new season's lamb processed this season is so low there could be reasonable amount of lamb sent by air. Acute shortage of lamb continues to push market prices higher, but $Kiwi is more than offsetting market place gains. Over the last year NZ$ is up 22%, 16% and 8% against the U.S.$, UK pound and Euro respectively. This has taken around $11 off value of an average lamb.

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