NZ's lamb output hits lowest level in 50 years
Published 24/05/2011 | 05:00
The world's number one lamb producer is heading for its lowest output in 50 years.
New Zealand lamb supplies were 15pc lower for the six months up to the end of March this year, according to the latest data from Beef and Lamb New Zealand.
Despite carcass weights actually rising during this critical period when the majority of New Zealand's lamb output goes to market, difficult weather conditions reduced overall productivity.
However, trends suggest that this season is running later than normal in terms of disposals.
New Zealand is now expected to finish out this season almost 8pc back on last year, resulting in the lowest lamb slaughter figure for that country since the 1960-61 season.
Beef and Lamb New Zealand remains positive regarding price prospects, stating that lamb prices will remain strong for some time to come because of tight global supplies.
The global mutton market is also strong as lower Australian exports help price levels, according to Bord Bia's Padraig Brennan.
NZ mutton supplies are expected to rise by 10pc.