[23 July/Stuff]

Winter and early spring contract prices for red meat continue to reach new highs. Prices for lamb, mutton and venison are at least $1 per kilogram higher than last year. Alliance Group General Manager Livestock and Shareholder Services, Heather Stacy, said market prices remained high compared to the five year average. She added they passed every cent of market upside to suppliers. Strong demand continued to come from China, which remained a big portion of its business. It has been helped by an opening of the more valuable chilled market. A poor spring and lambing in the UK, accompanied by dry conditions, could increase demand for export sheepmeat this season. New Zealand had a good growing season which meant ewe pregnancy scanning rates were high. Winter mutton contract prices were $5.30 per kilogram. Venison prices also remained strong, with Alliance offering a minimum contract price of $11.75 per kilogram for it. Beef prices were under pressure due to increased global supply.