Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Red meat exports hit $877m

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New Zealand exported red meat and co-products worth $877 million during May, according to the latest analysis from the Meat Industry Association (MIA).
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Overall, exports to China totalled $344m, down 14% compared to May 2020. Sheepmeat exports to China reduced by 12% to 21,610 tonnes and beef by 23%, to 16,134t.

However, sheepmeat exports to almost all other major markets increased, particularly to the US, with a 156% rise to 281t, worth $41m. Sheepmeat exports to the US have rebounded from very low levels at this time last year due to covid-19.

Overall, sheepmeat exports were up 1% to 36,193t, with a value of $369m.

MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says that overall exports were very similar to the same period last year.

“We are seeing red meat exports return to more typical levels. There are changes in destinations, which reflect global demands and this underlines the ability of the industry to be agile and service markets with the strongest demand,” Karapeeva said.

“Chinese import data shows that overall meat imports into China from all countries declined slightly, compared to May 2020. This could be as a result of reported decreases in domestic pork prices in China and the larger volumes of meat imports in previous months.”

Beef exports to most markets, including China, were down year-on-year, with an overall drop of 6% to 45,710t, worth $358m. However, beef exports to the US increased by 3%, to 16,755t and there was a significant increase in demand from Switzerland.

Beef exports to Switzerland increased 647% to 605t. This was against a smaller than usual amount of beef exports to the country last year, but still significant, as in recent years beef exports to Switzerland have averaged just under 400t per month.

“Switzerland is a market that applies significant barriers on a number of agricultural imports including meat,” she said.

“However, it is a market where there are opportunities for growth and a report recently produced for the New Zealand International Business Forum identified Switzerland as the highest ranked candidate as a potential free trade agreement partner.”

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