Meat + Wool ex­pects lamb re­cov­ery

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

AVER­AGE lamb prices look as though they will be down 25 per cent na­tion­ally at $84 to $85 a lamb for the 2012-13 sea­son end­ing next month.

Softer over­seas mar­kets in the north­ern hemi­sphere and smaller lamb weights from the drought drove prices down from $113.60 the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

While it’s early days yet the Eco­nomic Ser­vice at Beef + Lamb New Zealand ex­pects prices will be some­where be­tween $90 and $100 for the com­ing 2013-14 sea­son. That will de­pend heav­ily on the state of the dol­lar.

Im­ported prices for chilled lamb were down in the United King­dom about 17 per cent from the year be­fore in pounds ster­ling and back 22 per cent in Europe, par­tic­u­larly France, Ger­many and Bel­gium. World mar­kets in­clud­ing North Amer­ica were down from the year be­fore.

Eco­nomic Ser­vice ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Rob Dav­i­son said farm­ers could have a bet­ter farm­ing year for 2013-14 as long as drought was avoided.

‘‘The prospects are for a bet­ter year than we have come through.

‘‘We don’t nor­mally get two doozies in a row.’’

The best es­ti­mate is the to­tal lamb kill would be about 18.6 mil­lion for 2013-14 and the 2012-13 sea­son was shap­ing up to be about 20.2 mil­lion de­spite the drought.

Dav­i­son said the drought had re­duced lamb weights for 2012-13 and could be ex­pected to take a toll on lamb num­bers for 2013-14.

‘‘Look­ing ahead, the early in­di­ca­tions are that we will be around 18.6 mil­lion.

‘‘That’s down 1.6 mil­lion and that’s a flow on from the drought. We ex­pect a de­crease from the lamb­ing per­cent­age and sur­pris­ingly in our live­stock sur­vey we are only down 1 per cent in breed­ing ewes.

‘‘That sur­prised us too and it looks like enough stock weren’t killed and we didn’t get the mut­ton kill we ex­pected.’’

Farm­ers had come through a rea­son­able win­ter af­ter a hard drought and even though they would pre­fer to have more feed, the sea­son was set­ting it­self up as rea­son­ably good.

Na­tion­ally, ewes are in lighter con­di­tion with more sin­gle lambs ex­pected in the drought re­gions and the best out­come for farm­ers would be a mild spring.

Dav­i­son said the tighter lamb sup­ply could be ex­pected to have an im­pact on over­seas de­mand.

‘‘Prospects look good for tighter global sup­plies for lamb and even Europe has had a tough spring and have had a dry sum­mer so their ewes will be back in con­di­tion.’’

The fig­ure of 20.2 mil­lion lambs ex­pected for 2012-13 is up from 18.9 mil­lion the pre­vi­ous sea­son and as­sisted by one of the best lamb­ing per­cent­ages on record and a good lamb yield from ewe hoggets.

Lamb weight av­er­ages were ex­pected to be down about 4 per cent for 2012-13 and lower than aver­age be­cause of the drought.

Grow­ing con­di­tions were chal­lenged this sum­mer with Hawke’s Bay re­ceiv­ing lit­tle rain from late spring and the dry start­ing to spread in Jan­uary to the whole of the North Is­land and parts of the South Is­land.

Lamb pro­cess­ing was early par­tic­u­larly for the North Is­land with lambs killed at lighter weights dur­ing the drought. The aver­age lamb weight is ex­pected to be 17.88 kilo­grams for 2012-13 from a record of nearly 18.7kg the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

The Eco­nomic Ser­vice will re­lease its lamb crop sur­vey in mid-Novem­ber and its new sea­son out­look re­port later this month.

Fine fore­cast: Lamb num­bers are down but farm­ers can ex­pect bet­ter prices for 2013-14.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.