Independent Whanganui livestock commentator and agent David Cotton has no need to ask favours of the jovial man in red this season, Father Christmas has delivered early this year.

In his market report in December 2015, Cotton asked for a $6/kg lamb schedule, a $6/kg cattle schedule and a 6 per cent interest rate.

"I did not ask about increase in wool price as I know even Father Christmas has his limits and that asking for what seems the impossible is just that, impossible," Cotton said.

"In my report last year on December 14 I asked for rain after the longest period on record - 40+ days without rain - he again delivered in buckets - 141mm in January, followed by another 92mm in February. From all this I came to the conclusion I must have been a very good boy and I was rewarded."


The December 2017 report said: 'Then last Friday the Feilding lamb market crashed with auctioneers battling to find homes with the average price plummeting to around $2.30/kg live weight.'

"How very different this year with the late spring rains helping the grass grow across the region with the average price reported around the $4/kg for store lambs live weight. That is a massive $1.70/kg upside ($51 per head) and it's great to see the hill country farmers rewarded for their hard work and committment to the sheep industry."

December 2018 painst and even rosier picture with the lamb killing price set at between $7.80/kg and $8/kg, mutton at $5/kg, prime cattle holding up around the $5.50/kg mark and interest rates (housing) at 3.95 per cent. Father Christmas has delivered early this year long may it last," Cotton said.

"Prices have lifted substantially for all classes of stock in 2018 compared to say the lows of 2014 for instance."

+ Let's look at the numbers
Prices on December 13, 2014, followed by prices on December 13, 2018 in brackets:
Prime lambs $5.80/kg ($8/kg)
Works ewes $3.65/kg ($5/kg)
Store lambs $2.80/kg ($4/kg)
Prime ox $4.60/kg ($5.50/kg)
Export Bull $4.50 ($5.40/kg)