Demand from China bolsters New Zealand's red meat exports to record high

2021-09-30 10:15:05Xinhua Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download

New Zealand's red meat exports increased by more than a quarter in August compared to the previous year, with China remaining the largest market, showed the latest data released by the New Zealand Meat Industry Association (MIA) on Thursday.

Overall red meat exports for August 2021 reached 650 million NZ dollars with the 26-percent increase largely driven by a growth in beef exports, which rose by 39 percent to 299 million NZ dollars year on year.

Exports to the top three beef markets all increased, with China up 89 percent to 117 million NZ dollars, the United States by 31 percent to 102 million NZ dollars and Japan by 31 percent to 15 million NZ dollars.

Sirma Karapeeva, MIA chief executive, said volumes of beef exported during August were also historically high.

"A number of factors are contributing to tight global beef supplies. This includes herd rebuilding in Australia and export restrictions in Argentina. New Zealand exported a total of 35,327 tonnes during August, which is 71 percent higher than the average beef export volume for the month over the last 30 years.

"In early September, China halted imports of Brazilian beef, due to detections of atypical BSE in two cattle in Brazil. This did not affect the August imports but it may have an impact on trade over the next few months."

While sheepmeat exports to China and the United States increased, export volumes to most other markets decreased, with the 977 tonnes to Britain representing a drop of 52 percent year on year. This was the first time since detailed Stats NZ data became available in the 1980s that export volumes to Britain dropped below 1,000 tonnes in a single month.

Karapeeva said that while ongoing shipping delays affecting shelf life may have had some impact on chilled sheepmeat exports, the changes was possibly due to the impact of Brexit starting to be felt, with Britain's sheepmeat exports also dropping.

New Zealand's red meat industry, comprising sheep and beef production and meat and co-products processing and exporting, is the country's largest manufacturing industry and the second largest goods exporter. The industry is also a significant employer, taking up nearly 5 percent of total national employment, according to the MIA. (1 New Zealand dollar equals 0.70 U.S. dollar) 

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