Slower start to NZ beef production season

21 February 2017

Three months into the new season (October to December 2016; latest available data), adult cattle slaughter in New Zealand (NZ) was down 13% on the previous year, with just shy of 487,500 head processed (Statistics NZ).

Somewhat offset by a rise in average carcase weights, NZ beef production declined to a slightly lesser extent than slaughter – down 10% on what was recorded the year prior, at just over 135,200 tonnes cwt.

With drier than average weather conditions in northern areas of the country, beef production in the North Island declined 11% on what was recorded the same time last year, at 99,829 tonnes cwt, while volume in the South island was 7% lower, at 35,373 tonnes cwt.

Looking forward, Beef + lamb NZ forecast total NZ cattle slaughter for the 2016-17 season to ease 1.5% year-on-year, to 2.45 million head. This represents the second consecutive year of lower kill levels, albeit off a high base, following the dairy herd liquidation in 2014-15. Total NZ beef production for the 2016-17 season, however, is expected to lift marginally (1%) year-on-year – to 609,000 tonnes cwt – as the cow herd continues to rebuild.

So far in February, AgriHQ report that a firmer US imported beef market, underpinned by short supplies, has continued to push imported NZ 95CL bull meat prices higher, particularly – although reports suggests the market may have steadied this week (20th February).

Over the coming weeks, driven by strong US end-user demand and low imported supply, AgriHQ suggest a positive short term outlook in the US market – with domestic availability expected to be tight through to April.

Back to News

Join myMLA today

One username and password for key integrity and information Systems (LPA/NVD, NLIS, MSA & LDL).

A personalised online dashboard that provides news, weather, events and R&D tools relevant to you.

Customised market information and analysis.

Learn more about myMLA

myMLA Sign Up

Already registered for myMLA?

Sign in here