New Zealand lamb exports to stay at $1.96 billion
The value of New Zealand's lamb exports is expected to remain at $1.9 billion in the fiscal year 2018-2019, according to an estimate from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).
Despite the fact that political uncertainties are still acting like disruptive elements in the global meat market, large-scale droughts and disease outbreaks in competing for animal proteins have created the premises of a positive outlook for New Zealand’s sheep sector.
"We forecast slight increases in farm-gate prices for lamb and mutton in 2018-19, as prices are expected to remain relatively steady in New Zealand’s main export markets and benefit from an expected easing of the New Zealand dollar. This follows the exceptionally strong average farm-gate prices for lamb and mutton in the 2017-18 season", explained B+LNZ chief economist Andrew Burtt.
A combination of tighter mutton supply from both Australia and New Zealand, who contribute the vast majority of international sheep meat trade, and growing global demand is expected to continue to drive an increase in the average export value of mutton, which influences lamb prices, reports Farmweek magazine.
New Zealand’s export lamb production is forecast to ease 1.7% due to a smaller lamb crop, which is the result of a fall in the number of breeding ewes this year as farmers took advantage of high mutton prices.
Mutton exports are also forecast to be down 17% because of the smaller and younger breeding ewe flock. More ewe hoggets were retained for breeding this year reflecting farmer confidence in sheep production going forward.
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