Our competitors flock/herds are declining also

Our competitors flock/herds are declining also
New Zealand isn't alone in suffering a drop in livestock numbers due to drought and on farm economics. These two articles spell out the Australian and US livestock position. Australia's cattle and sheep numbers declined throughout the 2007-08 fiscal year, as drought continued to ravage southern Australia. M&L Australia is reporting that the latest figures to show Australia's cattle herd for the year ending 30 June 2008 declined 0.8pc to 27.8 million head.The sheep flock dropped 7.6pc to 79.2 million head, the lowest national flock since 1920. All segments of the US beef industry are contracting, according to National Cattlemen's Beef Assn president Andy Groseta, and the latest US Department of Agriculture Cattle on Feed report seems to support that conclusion. "What we're basically looking at are the number of cattle on feed in the US being down about 7pc from a year ago," says USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam. "Placements were down about 11pc, which is a fairly sharp decline." Feedlot prices are lower and according to Mr Groseta with grain prices up and fed cattle prices coming down, profits are also in decline.

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