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Gradual decline in NZ beef, dairy cattle projected - GAIN

14 September 2022

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Less than 1% decrease in national slaughter numbers expected for 2023

According to the USDA's latest Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, New Zealand is expected to have already reached “peak” cattle numbers, and FAS/Wellington anticipates a very gradual decline in both dairy and beef cow numbers in the near future.

One of the major influences on this is New Zealand governmental policy, and in particular regulations regarding livestock exclusion around certain water sources, as well as proposed pricing of agricultural emissions.

In 2023, FAS/Wellington is forecasting a less than 1% decrease to the national slaughter numbers, and beef production is forecast to ease a similar amount.

In 2022, slaughter pace has been slowed by Covid-19 outbreaks, but processing companies are running their plants for longer into the winter to clear the backlog.

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