The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Some NI areas face two dry autumns in a row as prices improve

The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Some NI areas face two dry autumns in a row as prices improve

BEEF

Export beef schedules appear to have bottomed in the North Island as a fall in supply and rising local trade prices keep demand strong.

The dry and cull cow market is past its peak in the north but still building in the south as managers adjust numbers to spring levels and only feed productive cows.

The south island calf sales have started well at prices about the same as last year although some areas of the high country are short of feed after dry conditions in the last couple of months affected winter brassica’s and autumn pasture.

Numbers are down as finishers chase dairy heifer grazing and wintering cows but good feed avaliability has ensured good demand.

LAMB

North Island lamb schedules appear to have bottomed as supply shortens and one bank predicts the autumn winter pricing should sit around $6/kg CWT.

All meat plants are flat out in the lead up to Easter as managers look to destock as the rams go out and winter looms.

Big numbers of store lambs were offered for sale in the Manawatu region as farmers faced up to feed shortages but prices held up well considering the numbers.

Lambs suitable for winter and early spring contracts are in good demand and the growth of sharefarming deals with meat processors is now more common.

Some areas will be facing the second dry autumn in a row which will have a severe affect on profitability and make some look readjusting their stock mix to adapt to the changing weather patterns.

Blue Sky Meats announced that two Auckland based Chinese businessmen have bought an 11.25% stake in the company and that China is now it’s biggest market by volume and value for this single chain sheep meat processor.

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WOOL

Prices remained steady at auction for crossbred fleece although lambs wools eased below $5/kg clean for the first time this season.

Primary Wool Co-Operative announced it will not be investing in Wool Equities after discussions looked at merging the two companies.

The merchandise co-operative Farmlands, announced it is looking at job cuts to meet efficiency targets from its merger with CRT.

DEER

Venison schedules remain in the summer mode as weaner sales start in the north and face a difficult market with feed shortages affecting prospective buyers.

Margins for finishing are under pressure as dairy heifers and cow grazing are more profitable and breeders must do the job themselves often in country difficult to achieve spring live weight targets.

Some will be aiming to finish a year later at heavier weights but still within the premium weight parameters to achieve better profits on slower finishing country.

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