Beef And Sheep Outlook For 2011-12

NEW ZEALAND - The latest outlook for New Zealand's (NZ) sheep and beef industries indicates confidence in supply, but is tempered somewhat by the mixed global economic conditions (Beef + Lamb NZ Sheep and Beef New Season Outlook 2011-12), reports Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 5 September 2011
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

The NZ beef cattle herd at 30 June 2011 was estimated at 3.94 million head, virtually steady on the year before.

MLA reports that the beef cow portion of the herd declined 3.4 per cent as high prices promoted the slaughter of underperforming beef breeding cows.

The expansion of the dairy herd is expected to allow for greater cow slaughter in the coming year. The average carcase weights for steers, bulls and heifers are forecast to decline in 2010-11, while cows are expected to remain relatively steady.

Farm gate prices for the main beef categories are forecast to decline 4.3 per cent in 2011-12, manufacturing bull to 374.9NZ¢/kg, and steer and heifer to 389.4NZ¢/kg.

MLA states that the national sheep flock was estimated at 31.9 million head as at 30 June 2011, 2.1 per cent lower than 2010, with high sheep and mutton prices driving a cull of poor performing sheep.

Despite a 2.5 per cent fall in the number of ewes on hand, the 2011 spring lamb crop is expected to increase by 5.6 per cent on last year, to 26.2 million head. This is expected to flow through to a 5.7 per cent jump in export lamb slaughter, to 20.1 million head, while average lamb carcase weights are forecast to decline 0.9 per cent, to 17.9kg/head.

Prices for average export lambs (17.9kg) are forecast at NZ$105/head in 2011-12 (October to September), a decline from the record NZ$116/head seen in 2010-11.

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