29 Sep 2014

Lamb prices expected to be stable

2:07 pm on 29 September 2014

The country's biggest meat exporter is expecting to see little change in lamb prices this season.

In its new season's outlook, Beef & Lamb New Zealand has forecast a small lift in lamb prices from an average of about $98 to $103.

The exchange rate will have a bearing that, and the New Zealand dollar has been falling against the US dollar in the past week.

But at this point, Silver Fern Farms chief executive, Keith Cooper said his company is expecting lamb prices to stay at around a $100 for a 17.5 kilo lamb.

"Globally we're going to kick the year off as a country, with having virtually no unsold inventory, which is particularly helpful going into a new year. We're going to go into the new season with prices higher than they started of a year ago, so there are two positive factors."

However, he said he had the feeling that markets have reached a plateau or a price which is balanced between demand and a relatively good in-market price.

"So putting all things together - slightly higher currency than the past seasons' average, with some upside in meat prices globally and we've seen some downside in by-products, particularly pelts.

"All in all, we're saying the pricing model's indicating similar farm-gate values to last season, which is around that $100 ball-park."