The venison schedule is looking much better this season, with exporters tipping that the spring peak will be north of $8/kg, Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) reports in its latest newsletter.
At present, the national average published schedule price for a 65 kg AP stag is $7.98/kg, 15 percent more than the same time last year.
The main drivers for the improvement are a marked decline in the value of the Kiwi dollar against the Euro, the lack of frozen stock in the market and improved prices for some cuts. Middles are achieving better prices than they were a year ago, prices for leg cuts are firm.
Opportunities are also opening up for manufacturing products in alternative markets such as the USA and potentially the Chinese mainland. These improvements are partially offset by lower prices for hides.
“At this time of year exporters are seeking good quality animals in the right weight range for the European chilled season. But because it has been a tough winter in many parts of the country a lot of animals will be too light for the chilled trade,” says DINZ venison manager Innes Moffat.
If currencies stay where they are at the moment Moffat hopes that improved prices will continue into the New Year, subject to the normal slide in the schedule as processors move from chilled sales to frozen. He says the deer kill is expected to fall to 385,000 in 2015, down 15 per cent on last year.
“We understand that more farmers are now retaining hinds to maintain and hopefully rebuild the breeding herd. That’s great news for the industry, but it does of course mean that venison production for the next few years will be constrained.
“We hope that through the application of better genetics and feeding that both survival to sale and carcass weights can increase which will provide customers with more venison through this period of herd rebuilding.”