2 Mar 2009

Sheep and beef farmers warned against price complacency

12:44 pm on 2 March 2009

Rabobank advises sheep and beef farmers not to be too complacent about improved prices currently being obtained for their meat.

Lamb has been the stand-out product in the commodities crash.

While dairy and most other farm product prices have slumped, lamb cuts have been fetching about 30% more than a year ago in overseas markets.

The Meat & Wool Economic Service is forecasting a 38% increase in lamb prices at the farm gate this season. It expects beef prices to lift by 11%.

Rabobank senior analyst Hayley Moynihan says much of the lift in prices has been driven by tightening supply rather than demand.

She says the same applies for venison prices which have also signicantly improved.

Ms Moynihan says farmers can expect some downward movement in those prices as the economic pressure goes on in overseas markets.

She says farmers should be prepared for some volatility in prices as markets change their purchasing behaviour, particularly through food service outlets such as restaurants, for those types of products.