10 Aug 2009

Alliance unfazed by projected tight lamb supplies

3:44 pm on 10 August 2009

New Zealand's biggest sheepmeat processor, the Alliance Group, is unfazed about the prospects of another season of tight lamb supplies.

The Meat & Wool Economic Service is forecasting a further 2% drop in the number of lambs available for the export trade in the coming year, as farmers keep some lambs back from the works to rebuild stock numbers after two or three years of drought in some regions.

The further projected decline in the export kill follows a 19% drop in lamb supply this season, which ends next month.

Alliance chief executive Grant Cuff says the Economic Service's projections are in line with the cooperative's own calculations.

He says Alliance has some flexibility to deal with changing livestock numbers - for example, some plants can increase cattle kill and decrease sheep, using the same workforce.