The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Killing space now hard to get and numbers of stock at saleyards lifts as farmers destock for the dry


The export lamb schedules fell again this week as processors report plants are back killing early this year, with higher December numbers arriving at the works due to the dry.

Silver Fern Farms say they are forecasting to spend a record $230 million on livestock alone this month, and are thankful their new partnership deal has released extra capital to meet this demand.

With the dry now affecting many regions nationally, demand for killing space is being allocated, with loyal suppliers receiving priority for their weaning drafts.

In the saleyards more store lambs are being offered for sale, as dryland pasture and late sown summer brassicas fail to produce under the intense heat.

A big yarding at Fielding last week saw prices and quality drop dramatically, and at this sale prices received fell below $60/head average, and are at levels back to where they were two years ago.

Exporters are however optimistic that the export price falls for sheep meats will not be too severe, as the weaker currency and strong overseas demand, maintains prospects.

Last week’s double island wool auction saw prices fall again, as exporters were very selective on quality, showing little interest in the growing volumes of coloured wool being marketed, and reluctant to buy product that was more than 12 months old.

Price falls and passings were greater at the South Island sale than from the Northern venue, and the only exception to this negative tone, was the interest in the small offerings of lambs wool.

Another week of easing beef schedules, as the lean bull and cow product into the US market met weak demand.

Volumes of similar product are also increasing out of Australia, and demand post-Thanksgiving is weak, adding to the price pressure.

Domestic demand is building as the BBQ market starts, but increased supply has dampened any price lifts, and prime steer pricing at the saleyards eased back as a result.

Weaner dairy beef sales are being held at most saleyards nationally and attracting strong interest and prices, as demand for animals to meet the beef shortfall continues.

Venison prices stay at their record highs for another week, even as the European chilled game season finishes.

Frozen pricing and demand from alternative chilled markets remains strong, and combined with good returns for bone and trim products, exporters remain optimistic pricing will be positive over the January February period.

Velvet prices have fully recovered from last years price falls, and are now back to levels last seen two years ago, and will give sire stag sales plenty of impetus during December and January period.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Bad news:

Cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis found in North Island for first time

MPI Fail. These cows on the move from an infected area.

Neighbour got some beef animals away last week, other neighbour is preparing for the dry and getting rid of some culls now, both timed it well. There's been a price drop in the schedule since and now a two week wait for capacity.