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The Sheep, Deer and Cattle Report: Lamb and venison prices fall again as feed shortages spread

The Sheep, Deer and Cattle Report: Lamb and venison prices fall again as feed shortages spread


The New Year continues with falling lamb schedules, and with pelt returns weak, processors are now informing farmers values will fall behind last year.

Mutton schedules have also been easing with declining Chinese interest being blamed, and NI prices are now down to yearly lows right at the time surplus cull sheep are ready to be processed.

Saleyard sales are also on the fall with lack of feed, dropping schedules, increasing numbers and decreasing quality of stock offered, all contributing to sizable price drops.

Canterbury sales saw medium store lambs sell for about $2/kg lwt, prime lambs back $6-10 per head and tight killing space for increasing numbers of cull ewes, saw values fall significantly.

Breeding ewe sales have started in the north island with 2ths tops selling to $177 and 5 year ewes up to $130 per head, but with the dry and price prospects, optimism in the sector has disappeared.

Conditions are good for the facial eczema season and managers are warned to prepare for outbreaks from this insidious disease.


The first sale of the year was in the north and saw values ease on the back of a stronger currency and increased volumes, but most vendors did meet the market.

An even bigger combined island sale this week of mainly main shear wools will test the market further, although the southern dry will reduce volumes of lambs wool and should keep those values strong.

Landcorp likes the Merino NZ model for wool marketing, as it has committed all its coarse wool to a 3 year deal, as it looks to get extra value for it’s clip.

Reports suggest low prices for merino wool is simply an oversupply problem, with dry conditions in Australia causing the staple to get finer, and create extra volumes in a supply sensitive market.


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


More beef schedule easing as US prices have dropped on the back of plentiful Australian supplies, and some chilled price pressure, although globally beef supplies remain tight.

A big offering of 15 month steers sold for strong values at the TeKuiti saleyards over 4 days, and reflect better feed conditions in the middle of the north island, and positive medium term beef prospects.

AFFCO announce their CEO is leaving, so now the three big processors are to be lead by new executives with the challenge to make the red meat sector into a more sustainable model.

Another MIE backed candidate, Fiona Hancox, stands for the SFF directorship against strong incumbents, as this company reports a small profit, as it strives to reduce debt and look for more equity capital.

Southland contractors utilize the fine summer conditions to catch up on baleage, hay and cultivation, after a very slow start in a wet late spring.


More summer schedule easing for venison, to values below last year as the Euro firms against the Kiwi to levels not seen since 2012.

Early stag sales have seen respectable average prices but disappointing clearances for animals with only venison genes, while velvet animals have been well sought after, with good prices and nearly 100% sold.

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