The UK market remains unchanged with post-Christmas chilled and frozen negotiations continuing. The situation in Europe is similar, with annual supply programmes negotiations underway. These are expected to be concluded over the coming weeks. The North American market is steady for most items. There is some pressure on forequarters with increased supply from Australia. The Chinese market is seeing firm demand for lamb for the Chinese New Year. In the Middle East, there is some pressure on frozen and chilled cuts.
Chinese demand for mutton for the Chinese New Year remains strong and this demand has ensured the global market remains tight.
Sea freight for chilled for the European game season is expected to be completed by the end of this week. Frozen negotiations are now underway. North American demand for food service cuts remains strong, with manufacturing demand and prices peaking at historical highs. Retail demand is firm in the UK. Demand for chilled venison is spreading beyond the traditional game chilled consumption period in Europe, with growing markets in the UK, US and New Zealand.
US prices are running above predicted levels due to the lack of current supply from Australia and limited New Zealand kills. However, Australian kills will pick up momentum once the weather in Australia settles. The EU market remains quiet, but China continues to be firm and in need of additional supplies. Other Asian markets such as Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia are currently average.
Veal had a strong processing season with all product contracted and sold predominantly to the US and the Middle East. This year, we trialled securing “new born blood serum” which has added additional value. We will be looking to capture this across most of our plants leading into next season.
Price expectations for slipe wool have improved in line with the lower value New Zealand Dollar. Hide prices, in US dollar terms, have decreased in recent weeks but this has now been somewhat offset by the weaker NZ dollar. Salted wool skins remain stronger than the previous year. In terms of rendering, protein meals have continued to weaken, while pure ovine meals have grown in value. Tallow pricing remains weak.