Livestock Market Update December 2019
Sheep & Beef
Shane Gerken - South Island Livestock Manager
There has been a number of livestock sales going on through December as there is always the mad rush before Christmas.
Farmers are busy weaning, to capture the good prices for lambs and ewes. Historically schedule prices start falling back as the numbers of lambs and ewes start flowing into the works.
The demand from overseas markets has seen record prices being paid for both sheep and lamb. This has also flowed through to the store lamb market as farmers wanting to finish lambs have been actively competing on farm or through saleyards.
The cattle market has seen buyers more selective on the types of cattle that is being purchased, with traditional cattle being the preference.
Jamie Cunningham - National Dairy Sales Manager
Favourable spring weather throughout the country left most districts with plenty of feed, boding well for trade in dairy livestock. PGG Wrightson National Dairy Livestock Manager Jamie Cunninghame says North Island farmers were particularly keen to capitalise on the surplus.
“North Island spring sales of in-milk cows were buoyant with most districts awash with feed. Although the quality of livestock going through the sales was variable, vendors are happy with the market response. South Island dairy livestock markets have also been enthusiastic, albeit slightly more muted than those in the north,” he said.
Meanwhile, export of dairy heifers to China may have an impact on the supply of heifers for next season.
“Exports have been growing. In the year to February 2020 between 40,000 and 50,000 dairy heifers will have left for China. That creates a cashflow opportunity for those selling. However, it will also reduce the supply, potentially creating difficulties for those farmers seeking to buy heifers in May or June next year,” said Jamie.
Continued record high prices for manufacturing beef are flowing through to the dairy sector with dairy beef sales showing healthy profits particularly in the North Island, and well sought-after service bulls set to roll back through the system during December and January.
Ryan Shannon - Livestock Genetics Representative
With the ram selling season well underway all over the country, we have seen a strong demand for good rams reflecting the lamb and mutton schedule. This is expected to remain high as demand for protein rich foods increases from overseas markets.
This is giving confidence to farmers who are willing to re-invest in premium genetics for the upcoming season, seeing the value in added performance and production from their selections. Maternal rams with a genetic tolerance to facial eczema demanded a premium in areas where commercial farmers are on board with recognising these sires as a tool to future proofing their breeding flocks. Those stud breeders optimising their systems with the use of technology and tools previously unavailable, are being rewarded for their extra vigilance and long may this continue.
There is never a better time to get in contact with your local genetics specialist or commercial rep to get the most from your flock. Selecting the best genetics will increase the performance of your breeding program.