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Fortnightly Market Update

Livestock Market Essentials

Brought to you by Heartland Bank and AgriHQ

Updated 23 March 2020


All the country is holding out for some rain as we continue to march our way through Autumn. In-land Otago and Southland are already starting to get frosts. Parts of the North Island are starting to green but the only area to have any pasture is some areas around Gisborne. Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa continue to miss out on the rain and remain very dry.

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Beef exports to China are improving but processors remain cautiously optimistic. It is early days in the recovery of the Chinese market, but processors are starting to gear up for more sales into this market again. In the US there is a strong demand for domestic grinding beef as people are panic buying at the retail level. The domestic 90CL price has risen 7c/lb to $2.29/lb but prices for imported NZ have remained steady.

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The backlogs on cattle on the North Island have shrunk considerably but the South Island remains a concern with long wait times continuing. Prices in the North Island have improved for bull and prime, both increasing to $4.95/kg. For bull, this is 5c/kg higher than last year. Slaughter prices in the South Island prices have remained stable with bull $4.65/kg and prime $4.60/kg. The store cattle market has seen little change to prices with rainfall needed to improve grass before demand increases for store cattle.

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Market confidence has been knocked in the UK, EU and US due to restrictions and protocols that have been implemented due to coronavirus. New lamb orders have all but ceased in these markets. Some last-minute Easter chilled orders have been cancelled due to the issues arising from coronavirus. The Chinese market has reported steady demand and prices for anything which can be sold via takeaway and retail shops.

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Backlogs on mutton and lamb in the North Island are disappearing, with many finding it a lot easier to get space for lambs. With lamb numbers starting to drop in the North Island, competition is increasing, rising the schedule to $7.00/kg. Space for lambs in the South Island remains tight with no change to the $6.80/kg schedule. Mutton prices look to be improving this week due to the resurgence of the Chinese market. Store lamb prices are decreasing in the North Island are big numbers of hill country lambs come forward. South Island buyers had been taking a fair portion of these, but orders are decreasing. Things are closer to steady within the South Island.

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Our Partnership

Heartland Bank is proud to have teamed up with AgriHQ earlier this year to form a joint partnership.

Together we were able to launch the AgriHQ Finisher Tool which was developed with the intention to make livestock buying decisions easier for farmers today.

To read more about our partnership and the AgriHQ Finisher Tool click here.

Commentary provided and written by AgriHQ and the opinions expressed in the commentary are solely those of AgriHQ not necessarily those of Heartland Bank.

The team members at AgriHQ know agricultural markets inside and out. AgriHQ’s full range of regular reports delves deeper into market intelligence to provide farmers with valuable insight they can capitalise on. Explore the intelligence you might be missing out on now at

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Resources for you to use

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