Up to one million lambs have been lost to severe storms in New Zealand with implications for the country’s new season export trade which is just beginning.


Promotional body Beef + Lamb New Zealand recently forecast this year’s export slaughterings at 21.4m head from a total estimated lamb crop of 27.6m head but is expected to revise these figures once its October lambing crop survey is complete.

This should also be seen against the backdrop of falling lamb crops and export slaughterings in recent years, says AHDB in its latest European red meat market survey. In the first seven months of 2010, the number of New Zealand lambs graded for export was down 1% on the same period in 2009 but in April-July they were 10% lower.