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The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Good lift in sheep returns but farmers seem unconvinced

The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Good lift in sheep returns but farmers seem unconvinced


The latest two-island auction saw wool prices ease again under lowering summer quality, although analysis reveals they are still 70c/kg clean ahead of last year for crossbred wool.

Mid micron fibre however have failed to follow and languish at levels seen over two years ago with lambs wool selling at similar rates as last year.

However reports will be welcomed by all wool producers that the successful Primary Wool Co-Op and Wool Equities are in discussion on a merger to develop a fully integrated supply chain from the sheep’s back to yarn and garments.


Schedules are steady at the Easter incentive price levels as values now reveal levels up $15-$20 per head on last years low returns.

However even accompanied with wool returns which are 70c/kg ahead and a mutton lift of $15, sheep farmers are still unconvinced these prices are enough, shown by continuing poor demand for breeding ewes even with significantly lower numbers offered.

The lamb numbers are ahead of earlier forecasts and export processing statistics reveal feed levels have enabled better weights to be achieved sooner.

 Some hopes for the MIE team from Alliance with reports that the principles of the reform organization are similar to its own, but a stubbornness in ignoring the AGM resolution to add John Monaghan as an independent director to the board is still irking those that want change.

 Mutton schedules have remained high but steady as this product is driven by Chinese demand for “hot pot” cooking.


More steady schedule prices as the processing volumes increase with older cattle reaching targets and finish the job of pasture control after a growthy spring and early summer.

Drought drives volumes in the major global beef markets and Australian January beef exports reached an alltime monthly high. In that country 75% of the beef herd is now in drought conditions and in North and South America herds are also shrinking, causing beef future prices in Chicago to reach all time highs.

A rapid growth of the Chinese market is driving beef sales and they have now surpassed Korea and Japan as the second largest market for NZ product.

Feed and some areas that are dry are starting to influence the store cattle market but quality cattle are still selling well with commentators still predicting good medium term prospects for beef.


Farms For Sale: the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of working farms in New Zealand, here »


Reports suggest buyer optimism is returning for frozen product and stocks of middle cuts have been sold to leave the market in a better position than last year.

Volumes and prices have held up well for all chilled product offered and the US recovery has seen exports rise and be NZ’s most valuable chilled venison market.

The Deer Industry NZ plan to increase the volumes of spring product produced looks to be on the mark, as the gap between frozen and chilled prices widen.

With the sheep model of producing more from less to follow, deer producers will need to grow their business from within to secure a profitable future, and there is no doubt they have a passionate team of top farmers to lead.

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