[30 October/New Zealand Herald]

Deer velvet season has begun with farmers reporting high offers from buyers at rates 10-15 percent above the end of the previous season. Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) Market Manager Rhys Griffiths said that regulatory changes from China last season caused buyer confidence and prices to dip. China and Korea are NZ velvet’s primary markets, with 60 percent of all NZ velvet consumed in South Korea. Deer Industry NZ estimates production will be marginally higher this season and reach 675 tonnes. The increased is reflective of a growing demand in Korea to use velvet as an ingredient in health foods.