Drop in NZ lamb exports expected during 2015

Dec 18 2014

The quantity of New Zealand lamb available for export in 2015 is expected to be down - even though the number of lambs has increased over the last 12 months.

This could be good news for Welsh sheep producers, according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

“The overall decline in slaughtering of New Zealand lambs for export during the 2014/15 season will be welcomed by home lamb producers,” said Charlotte Morris, HCC’s Industry Information Officer.

“Coupled with an expected decline in Australian lamb production, the global supply of lamb for the 2015 season is likely to remain tight, which potentially will support the lamb market within Wales and across the rest of the UK.”

According to the latest figures published by Beef and Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) the estimated lamb crop for 2014/15 has increased by 1.2 per cent on the previous year to 25.8 million head – some 900,000 head more than in the 2010/11 season which was the lowest recorded in 60 years.

“The report highlights that the seasonal conditions for lambing were reported to be good across most regions, with early dry conditions assisting lambing and lamb survival,” said Miss Morris.

“The reason for the expected decline in exports, despite the higher numbers, is that there could be increased ewe lamb retention as producers look to rebuild their flocks following last year’s drought.”

Lamb exports are expected to be reduced by two per cent to 19.95 million head for the 2014/15 season, a decline of 350,000 head compared to 2013/14 exports. During October to December this year, export lamb processing is expected to be down seven per cent to 4.31 million head. 

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