New Zealand beef production and beef exports are expected to recover somewhat in 2021 from lower levels caused by severe drought in early 2020. This drought covered much of the country from January through May and was rated in some regions as being as severe as any drought experienced in a generation. However, since May rainfall has been ample and should mean cattle will recover well from the drought during the September to December 2020 period. Improving pasture conditions are expected to increase both average carcass weights and result in higher adult cattle slaughter in 2021. Because of this, FAS/Wellington is forecasting beef production at 687,000 metric tons (MT) carcass weight equivalent (CWE) for 2021, a 1.75-percent increase over 2020. Export volumes are forecast at 615,000 MT CWE for 2021, nearly one percent up on 2020.