NZ Lamb slaughter heats up in April

07 June 2016

During April 2016, New Zealand (NZ) lamb slaughter increased 5% on the same month the year prior – with close to 2.38 million head processed (Statistics NZ).

Despite drier conditions across eastern regions reportedly having an effect on slaughter levels of late, so far this season (October to April) NZ lamb slaughter held firm on the corresponding period the year prior, at just over 15.21 million head.

NZ Lamb production and slaughter April16


Similarly, NZ lamb production in April gained 8% on the year prior – with 43,472 tonnes cwt recorded. Production in the South Island contributed greatly to the overall increase, totalling 28,446 tonnes cwt for the month – up 15%, while the North island eased slightly (2%) to 15,027 tonnes cwt. This season-to-date, total NZ lamb production increased marginally (1%) on what was recorded the year prior – at just over 274,947 tonnes cwt.

AgriHQ reports that processor competition is likely to continue throughout June in anticipation of contracting slaughter lamb availability, with prices expected to remain buoyant as a result – supported by the eagerness of buyers to secure product. 

Additionally, NZ mutton production and slaughter in April increased 5% and 2% year-on-year, to 4,969 tonnes cwt and 205,849 head, respectively. This season-to-date (October to April) however, sheep production and slaughter have both settled 4% lower on year-ago levels, at 81,157 tonnes cwt and 3.12 million head, respectively.

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