NZ cattle production eases

05 April 2016

New Zealand (NZ) adult cattle production in February decreased 27% on year-ago levels, to 56,331 tonnes cwt (Statistics NZ).

For the season-to-date (October-February), total NZ adult cattle production reached 266,952 tonnes cwt – easing 11% on the corresponding period the year prior. In the North Island, production declined 9% year-on-year, to 199,059 tonnes cwt, while South Island volumes dropped further, down 17% to 67,893 tonnes cwt.

NZ adult cattle slaughter in February was also much lower (22%) year-on-year, at 229,919 head. This brought the total number of adult cattle processed for the season-to-date to 1.01 million head. The female proportion declined 14% on year-ago levels, to just over 479,000 head for the October to February period.

Looking forward, total cattle slaughter is expected to decline 10% for the full 2015-2016 season, which runs from October 2015 to September 2016, to 2.41 million (Beef + Lamb NZ). In the short term, AgriHQ reports that recent processor utilisation of female categories (which has not yet been officially reported by Statistics NZ) is likely to increase, due to weak dairy prices encouraging a cull of unproductive cows, and stronger export demand from the US.

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