The organisation’s prediction is expected to be reached on the back of a forecast 14% hike in average export value, while total beef export receipts are expected to reach $3.2bn.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s economist Andrew Burtt said sheep and beef prices had stayed strong despite increases in the number of sheep and cattle processed so far this season.
“International meat markets have been strong,” said Burtt. “However, improved pasture availability and tighter remaining livestock availability will support prices for the remainder of the season. Strong wool continues to perform poorly, while fine wool has improved. The fast start to the season has been a significant feature of the production year so far.”
Lamb and beef sales show positive signs
For the December 2017 quarter, the numbers of lamb, sheep and cattle processed were all up. Revenue from sheep is expected to rise 22% and contribute 47% of all classes of sheep and beef farm revenue.
“Total mutton receipts are also forecast to be up strongly – by 11% to $602 million,” Burtt added. “A 24% increase in the average value per tonne, to $6,500, more than offsets the forecast 7.3% drop in mutton export volume.”
Export beef production is expected to dip for the 2017/18 season at 590,000 tonnes – down 1.3% – due to a slight decrease in average carcase weights (-0.7%) and slightly fewer cattle processed (0.6%).
The strengthening of the US dollar is also expected to contribute towards beef and lamb’s success, supporting returns from the US and China, which are New Zealand’s largest beef export markets.