[9 April/Rural Life]

Both beef and lamb exports were expected to break $3 billion for the first time. Beef + Lamb New Zealand showed the milestone was predicted to be reached due to the forecast of a 14 percent increase in average export value. Forecast farm profits before tax were also forecast to be up 39 percent on the previous season according to Beef + Lamb NZ Chief Economist, Andrew Burtt. He said international meat markets had been strong. The number of lambs, sheep and cattle processed in the December 2017 quarter were up, leaving less available for January to September. Global sheep meat demand remained strong and growth in Chinese consumer demand outpaced their domestic production. Gross revenue in Otago-Southland was forecast to increase 7.8 percent.