New Zealand’s monthly red meat and co-product exports topped $1 billion for the first time, according to the Meat Industry Association (MIA).
Overall exports to Australia increased by 58% compared to the same period last year with New Zealand benefiting from a strong domestic market across the Tasman as the country rebuilds its beef herd and experiences reduced livestock processing volumes.
Meanwhile, the overall value of exports increased by 56% to the United States, 39% to Korea, and 35% to the UK.
The increases offset a reduction in the overall value of exports to China and Japan, which dropped by 22% and 11% respectively. China remained the largest market, accounting for 31% of exports during July, with a value of $209.7 million.
Total red meat and co-product exports were worth $672 million in July, up 5% from July 2019. Sheepmeat exports were up nine% to $244 million, and beef exports up 3% to $310 million. The value of co-products exports remained similar to that of July last year, at $118 million.
MIA chief executive, Sirma Karapeeva said the trade figures demonstrated the dynamic nature of the global meat market and the value of the New Zealand red meat sector’s diverse market and product portfolio, which enables it to divert lamb, beef, mutton and co-products to different markets, as needed.
“These results are positive in a challenging global market and highlight the continuing strong international demand for New Zealand red meat,” says Karapeeva.
“There is considerable volatility in key markets, however our resilience has enabled us to continue generating significant export revenue for New Zealand. Processing companies also have a major presence in regional communities so this income is vital as the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Since January, New Zealand has exported 3,988 tonnes of beef to Australia, compared to 1,424 tonnes for the same period last year, said Karapeeva.
“Australia normally ranks around 10th or 11th as an overall export destination for New Zealand red meat. However, in July last year there were significantly lower levels of beef exports, which is behind the jump.”
The volume of beef exports to the US was up by 89% compared to July 2019 with the value increasing 100% to $144 million. The value of sheepmeat exports was down 27% on last year, largely reflecting the fact that a significant proportion of New Zealand sheepmeat goes into the US food service sector, which has been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.