Meat processor Alliance is expecting high numbers of bobby calves, despite a strong beef market.
Calving is already under way in parts of the North Island, and is expected to start in the South Island over the coming weeks.
The company's plants at Dannevirke, Levin, Nelson, Pukeuri and Lorneville will be processing bobby calves through to October.
Its general manager of livestock and shareholder services, Heather Stacy, said there was strong demand from markets in the United States and Middle East.
"The volumes have just been booked in now, and it looks like our volumes are pretty much on par with last year. The market for calves is slightly different this year, there's quite a strong outlook for beef prices so some calves will potentially be retained and grown on and finished," she said.
"The beef market does have an influence. By the time these calves come into process, that's 18 months down the track, so you're really looking at the longer term outlook in terms of the beef market so we would expect that to have some impact, certainly for this season."