1 May 2014

Gravy train awaits beef and lamb

11:37 am on 1 May 2014

Sheep and beef farmers are on track for a much more profitable year, with a 35 percent lift in average profit forecast.

Higher stakes - beef and lamb outlook improves.

Higher stakes - beef and lamb outlook improves. Photo: SUPPLIED

Beef + Lamb New Zealand's mid-season forecast has predicted a 35-percent lift in the average profit of those farms, to a projected $113,700.

Chief economist for Beef + Lamb's economic service, Andrew Burrt, said the recovery from last year's drought and the strong demand for both sheepmeat and beef was pushing up prices in overseas markets.

This included an estimated 18 percent increase in lamb prices to $100 a head, compared with prices between $80 and $90 last year, plus an increase in mutton prices.

"We've got cattle revenue increasing about seven percent, mostly due to a lift in sale prices for cattle,'' Mr Burt said.

"In addition, there's an increase in dairy grazing revenue that's coming from an increase in the number of dairy heifers that are being grazed off dairy farms and on sheep and beef farms.

"We're seeing dairy grazing making an increasing contribution to sheep and beef farmers' overall revenue."

Mr Burt said sheep and beef farm revenue for the season was expected to lift by 9.2 percent.