NZ lamb exports to drop
According to the latest data from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), lamb crop fell by 1.5% (357,000 head) to 22.89 million head due to adverse weather conditions. The total number of lambs in the North Island dropped back 546,000 head (-4.8%) compared to the same period last year, at 10.8 million head. A severe autumn drought contributed to this, restricting feed supplies at the time of mating. As such, pregnancies scanning results were lower. Although, favourable conditions during lambing are thought to have partially offset the impact of this, and the lambing rate was nearly as good as last year. In the South Island, the total number of lambs grew by 1.6% to (189,000 head) 12.1 million.
"B+LNZ previously estimated the 2020 national lamb crop to be down 4% at 22.28 million head. However, extremely favourable conditions at lambing and good pasture quality in the North Island, have partially offset the impact of drought seen earlier in the year. The number of lambs processed for export in the 2020-21 season is estimated to decrease by 4.5% to 18.25 million head," commented Brownwyn Magee, trainee analyst for AHDB.
At the same time, the number of adult sheep processed for export is estimated to decline by 10.8% to 3.15 million in 2020-21.