Less New Zealand Lamb for UK?

Less New Zealand Lamb for UK?

According to the Radio New Zealand News website, the UK and Europe could see supplies of NZ lamb being reduced in favour of targeting  potential sales in Asian markets, with more product diverted to China in-particular, as well as to other countries.

Financial problems in Europe has seen a downturn in NZ lamb consumption and the website reports UK market manager for Beef & Lamb New Zealand, John Mabb, saying lamb is struggling to compete with cheaper alternatives.

In recent years China has become the biggest market for NZ frozen lamb and prices have increased significantly, as opposed to Europe which continues to see pressure on margins.

China also remains an important target market for other countries looking to export lamb and EBLEX, the promotional body for the English product, has also been putting a great deal of emphasis on developing lamb exports to the Chinese.

The New Zealanders have seen bone-in sheep meat prices sold in the Chinese market increase by some 22 per cent in September 2012 compared to the same month in 2011, with the average price around $NZ10 per kilogramme, which is 59 per cent higher than the five year average. Despite the hike in price it appears that demand remains strong.

Exports of Australian lamb could also be heading for an all-time record month during October, according to figures from Meat and Livestock Australia. Both the Middle East and China had been taking more Australian lamb this year. From January to August, there were 1.4 million head slaughtered, up 12 per cent year-on-year.

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