Lamb prices expected to stay high

Key lamb export markets are paying  14%  more for product so far this season, with record highs  for this time of year,  ASB rural economist Nathan Penny says.

He said AgriHQ  reported lamb supply remained tight  and competition among processors was still keen given the  relatively low levels of slaughter.

"It follows that underlying demand is also solid ...  all key export markets are paying 14% or more so far this season compared to last season." 

In particular, the Chinese markets looked robust, delivering not only higher prices but also a healthy increase in New Zealand lamb export volumes, he said.

Mr Penny expects lamb prices to remain "very strong" heading into the start of the new season; meaning through most of 2018.

"The possibility of the recent weakness in the New Zealand dollar being sustained adds weight to this view," he said.

The  New Zealand dollar had been trading just above US70c for the past two and a-half weeks, with one brief dip to US69c. 

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