16% of New Zealand lamb went to the European Union (EU) in the first quarter of 2021-2022, according to the New Zealand beef and lamb mid-season update.
The report said that export prices for lamb from the UK and EU-27 was also particularly strong in the first quarter. This reflects lower domestic lamb supply in both regions and restocking of inventories following the significant disruption of Covid-19.
The demand pull from China and the US also meant these markets had to bid competitively to secure product.
The EU-27 accounted for 16% of the total volume of New Zealand lamb exports for the first quarter of 2021-22, which was up from 12% in 2020.
Export volumes increased 30% compared to last season and 13% on the five-year average, according to the report.
The average value of lamb exports to the EU-27 for the first quarter of the
season increased by 19%on the same period in 2020-21 and 15% on the five-year average.
The EU-27 accounted for 37% of total chilled New Zealand lamb exports in the first quarter, up from 28% in 2020-21.
And, the region is dominated by four markets: Netherlands; France; Germany; and Belgium, the report noted.
The report went on to note that the UK accounted for 12% of total New Zealand lamb exports for the first quarter of 2021-22, which was steady on 2020-21 levels.
Volumes were steady on the same period last season, but were down 30% on the five-year average, reflecting the demand pull from China.
The average value of lamb exports to the UK for the first quarter of the season lifted 24% on the same period in 2020-21 and 26% on the five-year average, the report added.
The UK accounted for 23% of total chilled New Zealand lamb exports in the first quarter, down from 31% in 2020-21, the report concluded.