Beef prices climbing fast, may set record highs - report

ASB Senior Rural Economist Nathan Penny said demand is being driven from China.
ASB Senior Rural Economist Nathan Penny said demand is being driven from China. Photo credit: Supplied

A new commodities report shows beef prices continue to rise, and could break record highs, thanks to demand from China.

The ASB weekly commodity report said the Chinese market was dominating demand for NZ beef exports. 

Senior Rural Economist Nathan Penny said beef exports to China had now overtaken export volumes to the US, for the first time on record.

He said two main factors were behind the demand.

"African Swine Fever has decimated the Chinese pork industry, leading consumers to seek other proteins, including beef from NZ," he said.

Nathan Penny said prices could break record highs, thanks to demand from China.
Nathan Penny said prices could break record highs, thanks to demand from China. Photo credit: Supplied

The US-China trade war was also restricting two-way agricultural trade between the US and China. 

"While China does not import a large amount of US beef, it does rely on the US for a large proportion of its feed inputs for domestic beef production," said Penny.

He said it was anticipated that these factors would continue to underpin Chinese demand for NZ beef. 

"On this basis, we anticipate that the 2019/20 season will eclipse the 2015/16 in terms of average beef prices for the year." 

P2 steer prices were at record highs for this time of the year. 

"If this current trend continues, P2 prices may lift above 2015 record highs of $6.14/kg." 

Newshub.

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