The Sheep Deer and Cattle Report: Positive reports from Deer Industry initiatives for both venison and velvet


Reports from the deer conference, show the US is now the number one chilled venison market and growing, and an industry initiative has started aiming to expand the chilled Cervena brand product into Holland with a goal of 300tonnes into this new market.

The Deer Industry partnership with the Korean Ginseng Corporation and it’s plan to use NZ velvet in it’s product for the healthy food sector, will give all velvet producers optimism, that the current strong prices should hold.

The announcement that Blue Sky Meats is joining with Duncan NZ in a partnership to market and process all meat products is a positive move, that hopefully starts more rationalisation within the red meat sector.

Positive reports were also heard from the farmer Advanced Party participants, as they look to lead the industries Passion 2 Profit programme to improve the profits for all in the sector.


More easing schedules this week as prospects refuse to improve and overseas market remain difficult, in a season that did not deliver on early expectations.

In the review of the year, sheep farmers will be contemplating the future for the sector and with the Silver Fern Farms restructure plans imminent, prospects for change are still strong.

Rumours that the Meat Industry Excellence group are proposing a new meat co-operative whereby farmers will need to commit stock for three years to participate, shows that these issues will not just go away like some long term participants are hoping.

South Island saleyard prices for lamb remain stalled and average prime lamb values have not increased since early January, and remain in the late $90’s a head.

Light store lambs are emerging from the dry areas and are proving difficult to sell as those farmers destock by shifting anything not carrying condition to survive the feed shortage, while in the north island where feed conditions are good the $10 premuim is being maintained over the south.

The few store in lamb ewes that have been offered for sale are only attracting average prices, as even the traders are taking a cautious approach to the present market.


Last weeks North Island auction saw shipping pressure from Chinese buyers lift fine crossbred and lamb wools prices further, but an increase in volume of coarser types saw values fall for these types.

Passings remain low and wool stocks are being reduced in the present market, which bodes well for the new season.

Post budget, farmers have been supportive of increased biosecurity funding and Lincoln University was pleased more tertiary monies should allow growth of graduates for agriculture.


More easing of beef schedules this week, but the few sales of good conditioned stores at saleyards have been selling well with many motivated buyers.

The forward kill will mean supplies of animals will come under pressure soon, and spring prices could lift significantly with these market shortages.

The annual calf sales have all finished for the year and vendors will be pleased with prices, even though animals in the dry areas, weights were down.

South Island weaner steers sold for prices about 40c/kg lwt above last year, while North Island values were 60c/kg lwt ahead, and at a better weight to earn good returns for breeders.

Bull sales have commenced this month, and farmers will be looking to purchase top genetics to ensure animals will maintain  productivity growth in a sector with good future prospects for grass fed beef.