Drought Dries up New Zealand Dairy

NEW ZEALAND - The New Zealand post has had to re-estimate its slaughter figures down by 5% because drought conditions have impacted the industry severely.
calendar icon 28 March 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The drought on the North and South Islands, which was more severe than originally expected, is a major factor accounting for the decline in both slaughter rates and exports as underweight animals were withheld from slaughter.

Another contributing factor is that not as many dairy cows were culled as usual as many farmers were building up their dairy herds to take advantage of high world prices. To reflect these factors, ending inventory estimates have been revised upward by 3% and will likely increase further in CY 2008.

Looking forward to CY 2008, post is revising cattle slaughter downward from the original estimate by 5%, which is a 2% increase over CY 2007. A major factor accounting for the revision include the lowest bull kill in several seasons, which is offsetting the increase in the slaughter rate of steers. The calf kill is also forecast to be up in CY 2008 because more male calves will be produced from the dairy herd.

Likewise, the cow kill is predicted to be up 2% in CY 2008 based on an expected upturn in the fourth quarter as some of the dairy cows retained over the previous season reach the end of their productive life and are culled. Due to the trends in slaughter, post revised the CY 2008 export estimate downward and exports are now forecast to be just 1% ahead of CY 2007.

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