6 Dec 2013

Beef & Lamb predicts improving conditions

8:43 pm on 6 December 2013

Beef and Lamb has released its new outlook for the 2013/14 season, and it's predicting improving economic conditions in the markets of our major meat and wool trading partners.

Chief economist Andrew Burtt says the global market is split into three different areas when it comes to meat and wool exports - Europe, North America and Asia.

The European Union is still struggling and North America is starting to pick up but our emerging markets in Asia, which had been growing rapidly, are starting to ease-off.

Mr Burtt says while the growth of exports to Asia has hogged the limelight, our traditional markets shouldn't be forgotten.

"It's important for us to remember how significant Europe and North America are to New Zealand when it comes to meat, particularly for Europe, which is well known for sheepmeat and North America to a lesser extent for lamb, he says.

"North America, and particularly the US, being very important for our beef exports. Those two market regions are dominant but China and Asia have been growing very rapidly in the last two years."

The new season outlook also reflects on the impact of this year's drought on sheep and cattle numbers.

It says the drought significantly affected livestock numbers, especially in the North Island as farmers made the call to cull more animals as a result of it.

Beef and Lamb will have a clearer picture of size of the nation's sheep flock after the lambs' tail survey is completed next week.