Record veni­son prices to con­tinue

The Southland Times - - WEATHER - RU­RAL RE­PORTERS

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.

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