More meat exported in March quarter

More meat was exported at lower prices in the March 2013 quarter, compared with the year earlier, according to the latest figures from Statistics NZ.

Those show that in the March 2013 quarter, compared to December 2012, the value of exported goods rose 1.9 percent – the first time since 2011 – reflecting high prices for dairy, but that the rise was partially offset by lower meat prices. Seasonally adjusted export volumes rose 0.9 percent, led by meat. The trend for export volumes has risen for seven consecutive quarters, says Statistics NZ.

The March quarter is significant for the export meat industry because it encompasses the busy New Year and pre-Easter selling periods and gives an indication this year as to how trade was going before the China export certificate situation arose.

Compared with a year earlier, the seasonally unadjusted meat volume index rose 20 percent in the March 2013 quarter compared with the March 2012 quarter, reaching the levels of the same quarter in 2010. Both beef and veal and lamb contributed to the rise, with volume of beef and veal exported up 19 percent and lamb 22 percent, according to Statistics NZ. Meanwhile, export meat values rose by 7.2 percent, with beef and veal up by 23 percent and lamb values down by four percent.

MIA trade and economic manager Dan Coup says the volume situation likely to be drought-related with farmers, low on feed, offloading stock earlier than usual in the year. This has impacted on values now, but will have the effect of a tighter supply situation later in the year, he says.

Statistics NZ says that seasonally adjusted meat export volumes – with the estimated impact of regular seasonal events, such as New Year and Easter purchasing, from time series to make the figures for adjacent periods more comparable – rose 5.3 percent in the March 2013 quarter, following a small fall in the December 2012 quarter. Meat prices fell 3.1 percent, led by lower lamb prices, compared to a 0.4 percent rise in the December 2012 quarter and a fall of 5.9 percent in the September 2012 quarter. Seasonally adjusted meat values rose 0.8 percent.

In the year to the March 2013 quarter, meat prices fell 11 percent, following four consecutive falls since the year to the March 2012 quarter, says Statistics NZ.

Meat Export Price Index Q-March 2013


The figures are contained in the merchandise terms of trade, which overall rose 4.1 percent in the March 2013 quarter, due to export prices rising and import prices rising, according to Statisics NZ

This means that in the March 2013 quarter, 4.1 percent more merchandise imports could be funded by a fixed quantity of merchandise exports than in the December 2012 quarter.

“The terms of trade rose this quarter, after falling for six consecutive quarters from their peak in 2011,” according to Statistics NZ’s prices manager Chris pike. “Export prices rose for the first time since the December 2011 quarter.”


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