Last month New Zealand’s biggest meat processor posted a $40 million pre-tax loss, blaming the tough year on the high NZ dollar and lower export lamb prices.&rtreturn;According to Cooper, PPCS Windward was no longer viable due to intense competition from low-cost countries such as China and Thailand and a drop in revenues of finished woolly lambskin products worldwide. Overseas competition has seen consolidation and closure of several New Zealand-based wool tanneries in recent years, and Japanese-owned exporter G. L. Bowron has laid off hundreds of staff at its Christchurch tannery.&rtreturn;Cooper stated that PPCS would continue to export lamb pelts and woolly skins for which offshore demand remained.&rtreturn;The deerskin operation has also been affected. The plan to close the Te Kauwhata venison processing facility was based on a trend of declining deer numbers and increasing North Island venison processing capacity.&rtreturn;’According to Deer Industry New Zealand, the number of deer available for venison processing is expected to drop by 35% in the next four years from 736,000 in 2006 to 479,000 by 2009.’