THE increase in United States cow slaughtering due to drought in some states is another concern on the horizon for New Zealand’s beef industry.
This was highlighted in the NZ Government’s mid-year Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report.
“If the drought continues, it will increase domestic supplies of leaner beef and lower prices for imports from Australia and NZ,” the report said.
Both beef cattle and deer livestock numbers in NZ have increased year-on-year for the first time in more than a decade.
That reflects good farmgate returns and confidence that the recent run of good prices can be sustained in future seasons, government analysts believe.
In contrast to the rest of the sector, average export prices of wool, hides, and skins have been historically low for the past two years due to lower consumer demand in China and other key export destinations, the report said.
NZ beef exports to China, meanwhile, increased 18 per cent to $577 million in the year ended March 2018, up from just $1 million in 2008.