Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Economic Service says farmers have been keeping back more lambs this season to add extra weight and take advantage of late winter-early spring premiums.
And one processor with its eye on that supply is Blue Sky Meats, which is based in Invercargill.
For the past two years, the company has offered Southland and Otago farmers a fixed priced contract to supply heavyweight lambs in late September.
It's been so successful that general manager Ricky Larsen says Blue Sky is offering farmers the same arrangement again this year, based on lambs in 20 - 25kg range. He says it's a niche opportunity and suppliers must commit to contracts, for known volumes.
He says heavyweight lambs have been processed from December through to the following May for the past two years.