Exports of New Zealand lamb to the US continue to grow, as do exports to China, with the Beef and Lamb mid-season outlook for 2021-2022 citing the two destinations as a “highlight” of the first quarter of 2021-2022.

The volume of New Zealand lamb exported to the US was 19% higher than in the same quarter in the 2020-21 season, and 38% higher than the five-year average.

The US accounted for 12% of total New Zealand lamb exports, by volume, in the first quarter of the 2021-22 season, up from 8% the previous season.

The average export-value of lamb exported to the US lifted 36% on the same quarter last season too.

The report also mentioned the other “highlight” of quarter one, which was the growth in demand in China for New Zealand sheepmeat.

In the first quarter of 2021-22, China accounted for approximately 45% of New Zealand’s total lamb exports.

The average value of lamb exports to China for the first quarter of the season was 16% higher than in the same period in 2020-2021, and 35% higher than the five-year average, the report noted.

New Zealand exports

The 2021-22 lamb export-season (October 2021 to September 2022) started very strong, the report said, with global demand for lamb benefitting from the surge in consumer demand for meat in 2021 and the fact that the global supply of sheepmeat was limited.

Total New Zealand lamb export receipts are forecast to lift 12.9% on 2020-2021. This represents a 14.4% lift in the average value of lamb. However, lamb export volumes are forecast to be down 1% on last season.