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NZ red meat exports near $1 billion in June

THE New Zealand red meat sector continues to perform strongly with overall exports reaching $937 million in June, up 16 percent year-on-year, according to the latest analysis from the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Sheepmeat exports increased by 15 percent to $345 million compared with June 2020, beef exports rose 8 percent to $411 million and co-products by 40 percent to $181 million.

There was also an increase in the value of all categories of co-products, with the largest two categories — prepared meat products and edible offals — increasing by 88 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of MIA, said China was once again the largest overall market in June with exports worth $377 million, an increase of 37 percent compared with the same period last year.

“We saw a very significant increase in beef exports to China during June, with a 60 percent increase year-on-year to $156 million.

“China's domestic pork production continues to be affected by African Swine Fever, resulting in demand for high volumes of imported meat.”

New Zealand has also benefited from reduced supply from other major beef exporters such as Australia, which is re-building its herd, and Argentina, where the Government has imposed restrictions on beef exports, Ms Karapeeva said.

“Over the past 12 months, New Zealand has exported red meat and co-products worth $9.1 billion. While this is 3 percent lower than 2020, it is still historically very high.”

While global meat prices remained high in 2020/21, they were slightly down on the levels seen in 2019/20, and the value of the New Zealand dollar has also increased against major currencies like the US dollar over the last year.

China was the largest market for the year with a total of $3.6 billion, followed by the United States with $1.9 billion and the United Kingdom with $419 million.

In total, over the past 12 months, New Zealand has exported 53,946 tonnes of chilled sheepmeat and 352,632 tonnes of frozen, and 38,437 tonnes of chilled beef and 442,181 tonnes of frozen.