New Zealand's meat processing and exporting industry is calling on the Government to prioritise its workforce for Covid-19 vaccinations.
The market analysis, by the Meat Industry Association, also showed that sheepmeat exports fell by 25%. A 14% fall in the value of beef exports was also reported.
Exports and co-products into the United Kingdom dropped 16%.
Meanwhile, exports to the United States saw a 15% increase.
Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association, said the fall was mainly in China and reflected the high prices New Zealand red meat commanded last year.
She explained that in October 2019, record amounts of meat were sent to China after African Swine Fever decimated the Chinese pig herd
“While the value of exports this October was down compared to last year, it was still higher than all other October monthly exports in recent years,” she said.
She said the data demonstrated the volatility of global markets and showed the importance of a market diversification strategy.
“COVID-19 continues to severely disrupt our markets and key channels such as the food service sector and we expect this to continue through to 2021,” Karapeeva said.
“The situation is also compounded by congestion issues at ports and the appreciation of the New Zealand dollar.”