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Lamb price trends

Posted in Rural Data



Lamb prices are steadily improving with schedules now nearly a $1/ kg ahead of last year.

With this optimism some rebuilding of flocks could be expected which could restrict lamb supply further, although dairy grazing and strong grain prices will compete strongly with any regrowth of the sheep sector.

Lack of supply in NZ and Australia, and demand from China and again in the UK, are driving these price increases and producers will be hoping this continues for a while yet.

Lamb kill figures show we are behind last year by about 4% which should allow good supply for the winter spring chilled programmes, but the SI’s mutton kill at 16% ahead shows signs of sheep farmers exiting the sector.

Breeding ewe values have increased by nearly 15% and hoggets by 20% in the year’s livestock tax determinations to illustrate the sectors upturn, but many will want to see a similar rise next year and a settled long term industry plan before they feel any financial security.

The Red Meats Primary Growth Partnership and the Ravensdown PGP aimed at more efficient use of fertiliser on hill country are big research and extension projects that need to fire to rebalance profits back into the red meat sector.

The cold weather will flush the last of the store lambs from breeders unable to finish, as mangers start their wintering systems for breeding stock.

Trends suggest firming  lamb pricing  averaging at 557c/kg CWT as supply shortages  and better moisture levels hits the north.


Last weeks North Island auction saw predominantly short second shear wools sold into a steady market helped by an easing currency.

The past months unsettled weather has delayed shearing flows and next weeks Christchurch auction has volumes down by 32% on the rostered amounts.

Merino farmers will be excited by the appointment of ex Air NZ’s Rob Fyfe as the new chief executive for leading clothing manufacturer Icebreaker, as they look to grow this global business world wide.

Federated Farmers have come out strongly in favour of reinstating the wool levy as lobbying builds for wool farmers to invest to improve returns in this sector.

Trends suggest wool supply will be an issue all season and with the wool pipeline empty buyers will continue to meet the market when they have orders only.

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- lamb
- beef
- deer
- velvet

for more perspectives, see

- Exchange rates
- Commodity prices
- Farm cost indexes
- Interest rate trends
- Rural credit aggregates
- Farm sales activity
- International dairy price