Friday, 31 January 2020 09:28

Coronavirus forces NZ meat shipments away from China

Written by  Staff Reporters
Silver Fern Farms has been forced to divert product from China. Silver Fern Farms has been forced to divert product from China.

Meat processor Silver Fern Farms is being forced to divert product away from China as coronavirus ravages its biggest market.

Read: Coronavirus starting to impact meat processing.

SFF chief executive Simon Limmer says it is working with its Chinese partners to monitor the situation on a daily basis.

“We are diverting product to other markets….while short-term these markets deliver lower value returns, and will unfortunately have an impact on upcoming livestock pricing, it will enable us to maintain our ability to process stock.

“While beef and lamb items can be diverted, we have very limited market options for mutton with China the main global market for mutton.”

SFF is reducing mutton processing at its plants from next week and says it recognises the impact of its decision on NZ farmers.

“During peak production and with limited feed availability, the timing of this event is challenging and processing continuity is important,” Limmer says.

He is urging farmers to talk to their SFF representatives for more information.

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