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New Season Outlook

29 October 2004

New Season Outlook

The start of the new season is one of mixed fortunes for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers, says Meat & Wool New Zealand.

The 2004-05 year started with a late wet cold winter and similarly a late cold spring.

The New Season Outlook just released by Meat & Wool New Zealand’s Economic Service shows the season will see increases in wool and lamb production, but a decrease in the volume of beef produced.

“Farmers can look forward to generally favourable prices for lamb and beef, though the uncertainty remains over the strength of the New Zealand dollar. With most meat and wool production exported from late November to June, the strength of the dollar through this period will be a major determinant in farm gate prices. Current exchange levels are less favourable than those forecast for the season,” says Meat & Wool New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Mark Jeffries.

Mr Jeffries says a slow down in New Zealand’s economic growth and increasing interest rates and would also impact on the industry.

“Farmers can expect a reasonable year as the gross revenue for all classes of sheep and beef farmed for 2004-05 indicates an increase of seven per cent, mainly due to improved lamb production and good off-shore sheepmeat and beef prices.”

“FOB export receipts for raw wool are expected to increase $55 million on last year to $795 million mainly due to a small increase in wool production.”

“A five per cent increase in lamb shipments to overseas markets and a continuation of good lamb prices is expected to lift lamb export receipts by eight per cent on last season to $2.45 billion.”

Mr Jeffries says the season outlook offers up a mixed bag of results for beef farmers.

“Beef export receipts are forecast to decline by eight per cent to $2.32 billion compared with last year, and this is largely due to a 10 per cent decline in beef shipments from last season’s record production. Even so, export beef volumes this year will be higher than the average for the previous five years. Beef prices for the 2004-05 season are expected to increase 11 to 13 per cent from the previous year,” Mr Jeffries says.

ENDS

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