Record venison prices to continue
Venison prices are expected to continue their record-breaking run as high demand continues from key markets in Europe and North America.
The venison price schedule traditionally peaked in spring while demand from European markets was at its highest before easing off in November. Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) passion to profit manager Innes Moffatt said the schedule had surprised everyone by lifting postChristmas. The North Island schedule for venison is at about $10 a kilogram and $11/kg for the South Island. ‘‘This time last year the schedule was $8/kg which was high, well above the long term average, so we’re currently sitting $2-$2.50/kg above the previous high for this time of year. It is rewarding farmers who are able to supply deer to good specification at this time of year.’’
Moffatt said the high prices were from continued strong demand from Europe for frozen venison and small amount of chilled venison being exported at good prices. There had also been a large increase in co-products - meat and bone meal and venison trim – mainly going to the North American market and Europe. This included pet food and venison mince for hamburgers. ‘‘There’s ... a very substantial increase in the value of some of those products.’’
Last month DINZ chief executive Dan Coup said trim and mechanically de-boned meat were being bought for premium pet foods at prices that could not be matched by the human foodservice sector and accounted for about $80 of the value of a deer carcass. Venison was used in special hypoallergenic pet foods for cats and dogs with skin or allergy problems. ‘‘The demand from the pet food sector is unprecedented ... but the word from the market is that prices are probably about as high as they will get.’’
Moffatt said the traditional venison schedule curve would likely occur this coming spring and expected some softening of prices coming into next summer. Some venison marketing companies have told him they expected strong marketing conditions this spring, but he would be surprised if prices lifted even further. Finishers were also paying money for weaner deer at prices well up on last year.
Venison prices have stayed high thanks to continued strong demand from markets in Europe and America.