The production boom, alluded to by several at the Red Meat Sector Conference, has been confirmed in the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)’s latest primary industry statistics released today. They show increased production of beef and sheepmeat, corresponding with growth in the export volumes for the meats, but falls in export revenue earned from lamb and venison.
‘Primary Industries Production and Trade‘ for the March quarter 2012 is the first release of a new combined primary industry quarterly report, comprising production and trade statistics for the meat, dairy, wool, forestry and seafood industries. It replaces separate quarterly reports for forestry and seafood that were previously released by the Ministry.
The report shows that the primary sector continued to be an economic driver, with total primary sector exports accounting for 71 percent of all merchandise exports in the year to March 2012.
MPI reports favourable climatic conditions led to a continuation of better-than-usual pasture growth during the March 2012 quarter. As a result, farmers achieved near-record carcase weights for slaughtered livestock and an 11.5 percent increase in milk solids’ production, compared with the same quarter in 2011.
However, the stronger New Zealand dollar coupled with easing international dairy prices meant that overall primary sector export revenue for the quarter was down 2.4 percent on the previous year, at $8.3 billion.
At the same time, total export revenue for the year to March 2012 was up 6.2 percent on the previous year at $32.3 billion.
In the year to the end of March 2012, exports of New Zealand’s beef and veal, lamb and mutton, venison and other meats, earned revenue of $5.6 billion, while hides, leather and dressed skins added a further $591 million to the export pot. This made a total of $6.233 billion, accounting for 13.6 percent of total NZ merchandise exports.
According to the report, beef production increased by 1.4 percent in the March 2012 quarter (compared with the March 2011 quarter), due to increased carcase weights, the highest since 2006. This was despite lower adult cattle slaughter numbers. Lamb production was up 2.4 percent because of increased slaughter numbers and a record average carcase weight of 17.6 kg.
The volume of beef and veal exported increased 1.3 percent to 98,450 tonnes in the March quarter, in the March quarter, while export value decreased 4.5 percent to $570 million because of the strong New Zealand dollar. Beef and veal exports to New Zealand’s major export market, the US, increased 9.3 percent by volume and 5.3 percent by value because of stronger demand.
Export volumes of lamb increased 4.7 percent to 79,000 tonnes, while export values decreased 1.3 percent to $722 million. Lamb exports to New Zealand’s main market, the European Union, decreased 9.1 percent by volume and 9.6 percent by value, which the report says was due to a decrease in frozen export volumes and increased export sales to China and OPEC.
Revenue earned from venison exports fell slightly by 0.4 percent at the end of March 2012, compared to the previous year, though volume had dropped by 4.3 percent.
A pdf copy of the report can be downloaded by clicking the link below or at the MPI website (search on ‘Primary Industries Production and Trade’).