More stable schedules this week, but the currency challenges remain, especially in the important British and European markets.
Demand is picking up in China but with most of the present product being chilled the full implications of the Brexit changes will not be seen until the main frozen season commences next year.
A good lift in South Island local trade prices to 560c/kg/cwt ( NI 555c/kg cwt) was welcome for winter finishers as supply shortages drive the present market, and some processors are finding it hard to meet regular chilled customer orders.
Small offerings of scanned in lamb ewes are being snapped up in a market where quality stock are proving hard to find, after some areas have been ravaged by drought and FE.
Prices for high scanning ewes are in the $130-$150/hd range and a big sale of 7500 IL ewes will test the market at Temuka this week.
The autumn eczema outbreak is being seen in scanning results in the North Island and down as far as Nelson, with results being 15-30% down, if no intervention with capsules or alternative crops were used.
However further south and even in the dry areas, scanning results are being reported as above average, as harvesting lambs early has helped keep the breeding ewes in good condition when the rams went out.
The first wool sale of the season produced very disappointing results with a four year low in clearance rates, and the coarse wool indicator falling below $5/kg for the first time in 15 months.
The Chinese buyers are over stocked with wool and unsold finished product, the British currency has lifted 13% against our dollar, and continued uncertainty associated with the Brexit has all combined to make this a very difficult market for wool.
The Australian market however ended their financial year on a high as demand for the finer wools held firm, despite all the worlds troubles.
Average coarse wool prices in 2015/16 were about 50c/kg clean ahead of the previous year but this weeks prices do not reveal any confidence that these values may return.
Beef schedules lifted this week which was surprising as quiet demand out of the US and a lifting currency puts downward pressure on the market.
The bobby calf kill has started up north, and while skin values from these animals is improving, it is still $10/hd back on last year
Supply shortages for quality beef animals is driving the South Island saleyard market and has kept prime steers 20c/kg ahead of the northern sales for these type of animals.
Cromwell saleyards has been sold to a developer, much to the concern of suppliers in the area, as they face an increase in cartage costs to sell in similar facilities north and south.
A small lift for venison schedules this week, but returns are being eroded by the appreciating dollar, and some concern is being expressed about the price competitiveness of this meat compared to other proteins.
There is still some talk of spot prices reaching well into the $9’s/kg cwt for the September /October period, but after the problems in Europe these levels now look less sustainable.
With now only 3 weeks until early stags will be casting their buttons managers will be lifting the amounts of quatity feed offered to these animals to ensure they grow velvet to their genetic potential.