The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on Friday and the beginning of trade negotiations between the two blocs removes come uncertainty for NZ’s meat industry.
B+LNZ’s Economic Service estimates the number of lambs tailed in spring 2019 decreased by 2.4% or 552,000 head on the previous spring to 22.7 million head. Most of the decline occurred in the South Island.
The lower number of lambs tailed in the South Island is expected to have reduced the number of lambs processed for export in the first quarter of the 2019-20 season, from October to December.
Lambs from ewe hoggets also fell, as fewer ewe hoggets were mated.
The number of adult sheep processed is expected to increase 9.2% from 3.4 million head in 2018-19 to 3.7 million head in 2019-20.
The lambing percentage was 127.1%, 1.5% points lower than in spring 2018.
This means 127 lambs were born per hundred ewes, compared with an average of 123 over the prior 10 years. For spring 2019, a 1% point change in the New Zealand ewe lambing percentage is equivalent to 170,000 lambs.