Lamb processing is running substantially ahead of last year.
In the week beginning 15 October, almost 174,000 lambs were processed in the North Island, which was 24% more than in 2011.
The combined North and South Island lamb kill for the same week was more than 315,000, an increase of 20% on last year.
Overall lamb kill for the first three weeks of October is 9% ahead of 2011.
There's now a slight premium for new season's lambs, with farmers in the North Island being paid $6 per kg this week, compared with $5.70 for last year's lambs.