New Zealand 2021 beef output forecast lower year-on-year

March 19, 2021 - New Zealand beef production for 2021 is forecast at 681,000 metric tons (MT), six percent less than the 2020 total, which reached a record volume of 727,000 MT, according to the GAIN report published by USDA.

2020 production was boosted by fourth quarter adult cattle slaughter that was the highest on record for that period, nine percent ahead of the next highest fourth quarter slaughter. This has reduced the potential number of cattle available for slaughter in the first half of 2021. As a result of lower production, beef exports in 2021 are forecast at 600,000 MT carcass weight equivalent (CWE), six percent less than the total for 2020 of 637,000 MT CWE.

It is likely that the aggregate volume of beef shipped to China and the United States will continue the trend established over the last two years and account for over 70 percent of all New Zealand beef exports.