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Livestock Market Update April 2019
18 April 2019

Livestock Market Update April 2019

Catch up on the latest market commentary from around the country in the April 2019 issue of the PGG Wrightson Livestock Market Update.

South Island Sheep & Beef

Calf sales have been the main focus in the South Island as the bulk of calves are sold throughout April.

To date, pricing has been $150 -$200 less than last year, due to finishers making little margin in previous years.

Store Lambs have  meet with steady demand as farmers who have sent lambs away look to restock, combined with more cropping farmers on the hunt for lambs.

North and Mid Canterbury has had some rainfall and with good weather which has combined into good pasture growth. South Otago is well behind in pasture growth this year with little rainfall in some areas.


With Gypsy Day looming, trade in dairy livestock is into the business end of the season.

As the season rolls on vendor and purchaser expectations are drawing closer together, which means deals are becoming more frequent.

Herd sales contracted for 1 June delivery have been completed steadily over the past few weeks, priced in the $1500 to $1900 per head range, depending on quality. Most sales have proceeded at between $1600 and $1700 per head.

A series of on-farm clearing sales is also under way, with at least a dozen auctions in Waikato, Taranaki and Manawatu scheduled through until the final week of May. Early enquiry for these has been strong, and the auctions should go well, particularly when the higher quality herds go under the hammer.

Positive indications for dairy returns have provided the market with less impetus than might have been expected. Although the Global Dairy Trade’s recent trend is good news, it is not yet stirring the dairy livestock trade along as much as you might expect. Although there is some feelgood, other factors are holding farmers in check.

Overall, steady market progress is expected during the coming weeks, with quality stock selling well at stable values and minimal variance on current trends.


March has seen the Genetics Team’s attention shift to the upcoming two year old bull sale season. Pockets of the country have seen a favourable summer season, which has resulted in their offering more forward than years previous. In other areas however, the dry first months of the year has given the opposite, which has seen the bulls, and their vendors, challenged. We are still in the early stages of inspecting, and we expect most to realise their potential in time for sale day. Sales are set to start in May, and as distant as this may sound, it always comes around quickly. It pays to be ahead of the game when selecting and sourcing seed stock, so get in touch with your local genetics representative today to see where we can assist you in breeding better business.

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