Beef and Lamb New Zealand's Economic Service expects that an increase of nearly 900,000 lambs born this spring, each worth an average of $95, will help to offset a predicted 16-percent downturn in sheep farmers' returns.
The service just released its Seasonal Outlook for 2012-2013, which predicts the average sheep and beef farm profit to be about $96,000, a 34-percent drop on last year.
Service executive director, Rob Davison, said it is due to a combination of the high value of the New Zealand dollar, returns for both lamb and mutton being down more than 15 percent and a 24-percent drop in wool returns.
Davison said, to some extent, the drop is a correction on the 2011-2012 profit, which was the highest in the past 10 years.
Reprinted in part from Radio New Zealand