Indicative price range for livestock released

Alliance Group has provided an indicative price range for livestock in the lead-up to Christmas and  the New Year.

Speaking at a roadshow meeting, general manager livestock and shareholder services Heather Stacy said there were a "lot of moving parts", so cautioned they were only forecasts.

The early season lamb forecast is $5.70 to $7, which  is where it  is sitting now, and post-Christmas $5.50 to $6.

Early season mutton is $4.05 to $4.20, underpinned by strong demand out of China, and $3.50 to $3.74 post-Christmas.

Prime cattle is $5 to $5.40 early season and $4.80 to $5.20 post-Christmas, bull/cow $4 to $5 early season and $4.70 to $5 post-Christmas, and venison $9.85 to $10.20 early season and $9 to $9.30 post-Christmas. On top of that for share-holders  are loyalty payments, pool distribution and the bonus share issue. Ewe contracts out  are  about $4.35 to $4.55.

Chief executive David Surveyor said venison was expected to remain really strong, while lamb was expected to be in good shape. Beef was likely to see some softening over coming months, although exactly how much was not known.

With lamb, there was concern  too much competition on procurement prices would lead to a correction.

In the North American market, chief executive David Surveyor said there had been very good, strong lamb prices and it felt like prices would continue at a  positive level.

Beef was more of a challenging story. The North American kill was going up so some downward pressure on pricing was sensed.

The quality of New Zealand venison was being recognised by North American consumers so could command a premium, Mr Surveyor said.

In Brazil, the beef kill was increasing and more plants were registered for export to China and the United States so there was again likely to be downward pressure on prices.

There were good, strong lamb prices in the UK. Frozen volumes were "coming off a bit", essentially being driven by a campaign by British retailers.

There were suggestions  New Zealand volumes into the UK might be down about 30% and Alliance was perhaps down by 10%.

Alliance’s plan for the year was growing the total volume it was selling into the UK.There was a 50% tariff imposed on all product going into Japan. Over the last couple of months, there had been an increase in export volumes from Australia for both lamb and beef which was likely to put downward pressure on prices.

It was  important  New Zealand got its chilled trial into China "right", he said.

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