Total exports to the United Kingdom were down 27% to $39.6m compared to last April and down 30% to Germany to $22m.
Exports to China continued to recover, up 16% to $353.6m.
There were also increases for other Asian markets, in particular Japan, with total exports up 66% to $46.8m and Taiwan up 3% to $36.4m compared to last April.
Export values of both chilled sheep meat and beef dropped compared to last April, down 35% to $52.7m for sheep meat and 19% to $30.1m for beef, reflecting the challenges of exporting perishable products during the trade disruptions caused by covid-19.
However, exports of frozen sheep meat were largely unchanged from last April at $300.7m and frozen beef exports increased 16% to $329.7m.
Japan was the stand-out beef market for April with exports worth $24.4m, up by a massive 87% compared to last April.
The beginning of April also saw a further reduction on the tariff rates on beef into Japan under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership and the tariff savings on NZ beef exports to Japan now total about $32m.
Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said NZ has continued to demonstrate adeptness at navigating the ongoing market volatility.
“Our industry is benefiting from the strong and enduring relationships across different markets and this has allowed us to weather the covid-19 storm.
“While there is some softening of prices demand is now increasing for prime cuts.
“The natural, grass-fed attributes of NZ red meat are giving us an advantage.
“There is a premium to be gained from leveraging the NZ story, ensuring it is credible and backed by quality assurance.
“The silver lining of this crisis is that it’s providing our industry more opportunities to look at different channels to market such as retail. Processing and exporting companies are out there exploring these and other options.”
In March total monthly red meat exports topped $1 billion for a single month for the first time ever.