Fortnightly Market Update

Livestock Market Essentials

Brought to you by Heartland Bank and AgriHQ

Updated 03 December 2019


It’s been a warm and windy fortnight or so for the entire country. Parts of the South Island were overdue for a bit of heat, which has given paddocks a bit of late-spring boost. Lower regions are still tracking behind schedule though. It’s beginning to get a bit too dry through the North Island, however, especially through the east coast. Nowhere appears to be doing any better than usual, which is adding a few nerves to store markets.

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Beef plants are getting busier by the week. However there hasn’t been any downwards movements in schedules just yet. Instead the incredibly strong export market is allowing processors to keep farmgate prices up. Bulls are paying above prime in both islands for the first time in a few years, just in time for cull dairy service bulls to come forward. Store markets are mainly following a steady path, though there is increasing apprehension in the North Island while farmers wait for rain. In relative terms, 100kg Friesian bull calves are still quite cheap.

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US buyers were caught short of product and pushed manufacturing beef prices to all-time record levels for a short period. This situation is slowly resolving itself, especially as the NZ kill increases, but prices should still hold well above normal for the remainder of the year. China continues to buy up big. Prime cuts are relatively flat selling still.

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Processors are getting full on lamb in the North Island where they’re set to try cut a few cents out of schedules. Schedules would still have to fall a long way to be anywhere near normal levels though, with $9/kg still easily achievable. There are still more than enough holes in the South Island kill, leading to some incredible competition emerging on cull ewes – up to $6.80/kg is not unheard of with more likely achievable through the yards. Store markets are flattening out to a more standard level. Numbers are moving freely at around $4.00/kg or a little more in both islands.

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It’s all status quo for export sales. One interesting trend was the lack of an obvious chilled premium on October exports. Lower chilled Christmas sales into the UK combined with more frozen product being sold kept average export prices almost steady month-on-month at $11.55/kg.

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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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