15th December 2020 By Staff Reporter | email@example.com | @foodtickernz
Lamb and sheep export volumes are expected to drop this summer as drought results in lower animal weight and stock rebuild activity, says Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
The industry group’s Lamb Crop Outlook Report 2020 found that while spring’s lambing percentage was just 0.7% down on last year at 130.3%, the lamb crop dropped 1.5%.
It said the number of lambs tailed in spring 2020 decreased by 1.5% or 357,000 head on the previous spring to 22.9 million head, with the drought-affected North Island recording a 4.8% decline compare with the South Island’s 1.6% gain.
B+LNZ added that the lower number of lambs tailed is expected to reduce the number of lambs processed for export in the first quarter of the 2019-20 season – from October to December.
The forecast is for a 4.5% drop in the total number of lambs processed for export in the 2020-21 season, from 19.1 million head in 2019-20 to 18.2 million head.
The amount of lamb produced is expected to decrease 4.7% due to a combination of fewer lambs and a slightly lower average carcass weight.
Adult sheep processing is expected to suffer a steeper decline, with a 10.8% drop forecast from 3.5 million head in 2019-20 to 3.2 million head.
The sharp decline is driven by a 16.3% dip in the North Island as sheep farmers recover after the number of breeding ewes sold in 2020 was higher than expected because of drought, B+LNZ said.
On pricing, B+LNZ said early season pricing had been holding up and underlying fundamentals remained solid, despite “uncertainty related to international economic conditions, the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and more latterly shipping logistics”.
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