Restricted global supplies and strong international demand are set to keep sheepmeat prices at elevated levels over the remainder of this season and into the next, according to Rabobank animal proteins analyst Blake Holgate.

Holgate told The Country's Jamie Mackay that "market fundamentals are still very much in New Zealand sheep farmers' favour".

Although some Kiwi processors had winter contracts as high as $9 per kilo, with a few in Australia experiencing $10 contracts, Holgate said New Zealand was still tracking "similar to last season".

Listen below:

"Through February and March we dipped below a wee bit as we had an influx of lambs come through to the processors. Since then that flow of lambs has definitely dried up and we're now level pegging, pretty much with where we were last year".


The recent outbreak of African Swine Fever in China has had a positive influence on New Zealand's sheepmeat market said Holgate.

"If you look at sheepmeat, the value of our exports to China for the first eight months of this season are already greater than our entire export value last season with four months still to run".

Holgate said African Swine Fever is not only having an impact on China's production, but also its imports, which is good news for New Zealand.

"If you look at beef from all countries that's up over 50 per cent, poultry from all countries up over 40 per cent and sheepmeat from all countries up 24 per cent - and New Zealand is getting a fair whack of that".

Also in today's interview: Holgate takes a look at the US market, how Brexit is affecting the UK and the New Zealand lamb production over the next twelve months.