The Country's Jamie Mackay is joined by PGG Wrightson's GM for Livestock, Peter Moore, to look at the state of the nation in terms of New Zealand's livestock market.
Moore talked about the various climate conditions across the country, with dry spells on the east coast of the North Island and in northern Otago, and wet patches throughout the bottom of the South Island.
Mackay asked if store stock was being brought forward, as farmers on the east coasts had been told to expect a dry summer.
Moore confirmed this and added that there was a larger than usual yarding at Stortford Lodge yesterday, as farmers were being cautious and not wanting to be caught out.
Mackay asked Moore about the new season lambing schedules, and where they would be placed during the peak of the season.
Moore anticipated that there would be a dip in prices, but only time would tell, as the market was much softer compared to 12 months ago.
The beef market continued to be strong, Moore said, and he pointed out that ground beef was doing well as a commodity and noted that fast food providers were doing also well.
Mackay wrapped up the interview by asking about the venison market, as it usually was a high end export product and it has been impacted by Covid-19.
Moore noted that prices were better than anticipated and that over time the venison market would recover.
Mackay also noted that it would be a great time to promote venison in the domestic market, as it might fall into a better price range.
Spring cattle sales in the South Island have started with plenty of cattle coming on to the market, particularly in those areas where dry conditions have sent warning signals to farmers wary of a repeat of last year’s drought.
PGG Wrightson South Island Livestock Manager Shane Gerken says traditional beef cattle are particularly sought after.
“This year’s Cheviot Spring Cattle Sale, in early October, was a prime example. Strong demand for traditional cattle was evident. Pending weight, steers sold anywhere between $3 and $3.30 per kilogram, while heifers sold in the $2.70 to $2.90 per kilogram range, with well-bred Angus heifers changing hands for breeding.
This year the buoyancy the market experienced over the past two years has deflated, due mainly to feed conditions and caution around the market outlook. In those areas beginning to dry out, particularly North Otago and South Canterbury, where the winter has been mild and the north west wind is already prevailing, farmers are particularly cautious around how the rest of the season will proceed.
“Meanwhile, the bottom half of the South Island has been wet and cold. In Otago and Southland the usual buying power of local farmers has been delayed as they bide their time for the grass to start growing before seriously entering the market for stock.
That may not be too far away as late September’s severe winter weather appears to have passed by with minimal lingering effects,” he said.
While traditional beef cattle have been well sought after, cattle with a dairy base have been discounted.
PGG Wrightson Livestock National Genetics Manager Callum Stewart says yearling bulls have sold well.
“Eighty per cent through the 2020 yearling bull sale season, we are achieving excellent clearances and highly satisfactory values. Stock numbers have increased on previous years, with animals in fine shape, reflecting the mild winter, also the hard work put in by breeders to raise these bulls,” he said.
As of 1 October 2020, we have had a change of leadership in the Livestock business.
Peter Newbold, currently General Manager Real Estate, has been appointed to lead Livestock (in addition to Real Estate), as we advance the evolution of the business. In this role of General Manager Livestock & Real Estate, Peter will provide strategic and operational leadership of both teams to ensure the delivery of the commercial objectives of the respective business units. Peter has a long history of working in the agricultural sector, understands our people and our customers, and knows what it means to lead a sales workforce. With the exception of the bidr® team, all of the Livestock business will report to Peter, alongside the Real Estate team. Recently Peter has been out in the business visiting different Livestock teams and clients throughout the country and he looks forward to his new role as the General Manager Livestock & Real Estate.
In line with our strategic imperative to continually transform our Livestock business to one of adding value for not just PGW, but all participants in the supply chain, Peter Moore has moved into the new role of General Manager Livestock Ventures & Partnerships. In this role he will focus on delivering new international and domestic supply chain initiatives that will add value and grow the Livestock business. He will also retain stewardship of the bidr® business and the bidr® team will continue to report to Peter. Peter has a successful track record in delivering long term strategic initiatives into the Livestock business via Go Products and the bidr® platform and has well established international and domestic networks to continue to assist PGW to advance our strategy.