Complex start for the velvet season

Dec 16, 2022

Velvet exporters are facing one of the most complicated starts to the season DINZ manager markets Rhys Griffiths has witnessed.

Rhys Griffiths

“Velvet consumption is generally trending in the right direction, but it’s just taking its time to move through the supply chain,” he reports.

Because of China’s stringent Covid elimination strategy, customers there have not been able to get to the markets to buy velvet and processors are concerned about the economic situation caused by the lockdowns, he explains.

PGG Wrightson’s Tony Cochrane reports that, at the time of writing, some of the first cut of New Zealand velvet will have been sold to health food companies in Korea, though “the bigger commodity buyers, particularly those impacted in by China in Korea are still not in the market at the volume levels they have been at this time in previous years.”

Griffiths notes that while it is pleasing to see the recent relaxing of some of the Covid restrictions in China, “there is still a way to go before business travel within China returns to normalcy, let alone for international travel.”

He cited the example of this is that while individuals can now travel from Shanghai to Beijing, they cannot currently enter a restaurant. “This could impact the ability for meetings.”

Aware of the stresses and pressures farmers and exporters are experiencing, he notes exporters are “working really hard” to pace product, he says.

“After the Chinese New Year at the end of January, we hope there will be a further lifting of restrictions, which should boost confidence generally,” says Griffiths.

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand, the 2022 velvet competitions are underway. The velvet on display has been of a very high standard and well presented, the judges report, with an improvement in quality over the last few years.

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