8 Oct 2008

Market turbulence noted by genetics company

1:02 pm on 8 October 2008

The impact of the turbulence in world equity and credit markets on the dairy sector has been noted by the livestock breeding and genetics company, LIC.

Chairman Stuart Bray says a very volatile exchange rate and a recent rapid fall in powder prices, have reversed some of the optimism that reached "euphoric" levels during the past season.

At Wednesday's annual meeting of the co-operative, he said the dairy cow shortage, caused by herd expansion and farm conversions, created unprecedented demand for artificial insemination services.

Semen production from LIC's laboratories reached record levels last spring, with daily output exceeding 100,000 straws.

Chief executive Mark Dewdney says the company's New Zealand genetics business grew by about 400,000 straws, or 12%, during the past year.

He said it was common to hear of farmers doing an extra week's AI to generate surplus heifers for sale.

LIC made a net profit after tax of more than $15 million from revenue of $132 million, an increase of 18%.