The New Zealand Meat Board is confident of fulfilling EU quotas for the end of this year, despite rumours that supplies were lagging behind.
However, it did admit that there has been a slight reduction in production, although this has been partially compensated for by an increase in the average weight of carcases for this season.
NZMB market manager UK John Mabb said: “We still have two-and-a-half months of the year to go, so any thoughts about whether or not the quota will be fulfilled are premature.
“We have filled the quota
every year since it was changed to 226,700 tons in 1995. We are not a million miles away from where we would be normally, and I would be surprised if we didn’t fulfil it.
“Our kill on lamb is down for the year to September 30, and so is the mutton kill, because farmers have been holding back ewe lambs for breeding purposes. You can only kill so many lambs and then have to replenish the flock.”