Mar 18, 2022
The venison schedule is trending upwards, reflecting venison processors’ optimism. This week’s published schedule prices for AP stags range from $7.95-8.05 per kg – tracking in line with the five-year average for March of $8.04/kg.
The increased prices reflect processors’ recognition of the need for more sustainable venison returns to producers and a generally more positive global outlook (Deer Industry News, February/March 2022). This “should give finishers and breeders alike a bit of confidence going into the weaner season in April,” according to First Light general manager venison Matt Gibson.
Duncan NZ, Silver Fern Farms and the Alliance Group indicate they expect schedules to now stabilise at around the $8 mark through to the chilled season in spring, with – in the words of Alliance Group sales manager Terry O’Connell – “an upside for spring-supplied animals.”
The industry’s focus is on consolidating the current position and building momentum with additional value initiatives, such as the retail programmes in China and the USA. These initiatives, along with the recovery in the food service sector, will underpin improved prices, O’Connell believes.
Venison exporters still face a disrupted and problematic global supply chain, note John Sadler of Mountain River Venison and Silver Fern Farms global sales manager Peter Robinson.
Daily disruptions are “nearly the new business as usual,” says Robinson. “Shipping capacity, vessel schedules, port productivity and land-side infrastructure all remain congested and disrupted in every country and across every trade lane globally.
“We’ve continued to work hard at building new markets, new customer segments and new products - all of which increase optionality and reduce the volatility venison has historically seen,” he says.
The company continues to see good demand out of China and expectations are that China will prove to be a pivotal market for growth, value add and innovation in the venison category in the years ahead, says Robinson.