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Beef export receipts up for New Zealand

3 February 2005

Beef export receipts up for New Zealand

New Zealand beef exports to North Asia reached record levels in 2004 bolstering a 24.8% increase to $2.1 billion in overall beef and veal export receipts in the year to 30 September 2004, Meat & Wool New Zealand Chief Executive Mark Jeffries said today releasing the company’s first annual report.

Mr Jeffries said the increase to North Asian markets was due to bans on imports of US beef which followed a case of bovine spongiforum encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States in late 2003, leaving a gap in the supply of beef to North Asia.

In the year ending September 30 2004 New Zealand beef exports to Japan increased 95% to 38,457 tonnes. The market is now New Zealand’s second largest beef export market by value worth $260m in export receipts, up 135%. Beef exports to Korea, the third largest market, were worth $221m and up 81% by value, while beef exports to Taiwan increased 42% with export receipts of $174m, up 44% on the year ending September 2003.

Sheepmeat export receipts including offal were similar to the 2003 year at $2.3billion. Export volumes increased 14% to 469,000 tonnes. Export receipts to the European Union remained similar to the previous year and this region continued to capture the majority share of sheepmeat returns (62%).

New Zealand maintained a retail market share of one third of all lamb consumed in the United Kingdom (UK), still New Zealand’s largest market. Meat & Wool New Zealand’s Lamb leg campaign was strongly supported by the New Zealand meat importers who directed much of their marketing activities alongside the promotional programme. Research showed that retail spending on New Zealand Lamb in the UK increased 21% on the previous year and consumer awareness for New Zealand Lamb remained high.

Mr Jeffries said the Meat Promotion Group’s (MPG) three-year lamb leg campaign has proven to be very successful. The MPG involves the meat companies and the Meat Industry Association working with the Meat & Wool New Zealand market development team to develop targeted marketing strategies.

“New Zealand has gained recognition for its success in maintaining its market share in the UK. The January edition of Agra-Europe encouraged other sheepmeat producing countries to follow New Zealand’s lead saying ‘Perhaps the promotional efforts, including advertising campaigns by New Zealand credited by MLC (Meat and Livestock Commission) analysts with helping to reverse the trend (in declining UK lamb consumption) … could be used with similar success on mainland Europe’,” he said.

Total meat and co-product export returns for the year increased by 9.3% over the previous year to $4b, just above the levels of 2001 and 2002. Mr Jeffries said that while the overall supply of New Zealand meat was down, the value of returns had increased which meant farm income levels had been maintained.

Meat & Wool New Zealand continued to advocate to Government on behalf of meat and wool growers to establish and improve trade arrangements in key markets. This included the Government’s negotiations with Thailand for a closer economic partnership, a joint feasibility study with China in 2004, and working toward mitigating the impact of the European Commission’s proposed changes to import procedures for sheepmeat.

“China is an important developing market, already accounting for meat and wool and associated product exports of $470m a year, representing 35% of total New Zealand exports to the market,” Mr Jeffries said.

Supporting the Government’s objective to negotiate an FTA with the US continued to be a priority for Meat & Wool New Zealand.

Meat & Wool New Zealand continued to analyse developments and advocate to government proposals that would provide positive outcomes for meat and wool products within the WTO Doha Round of multilateral trade talks.

ENDS

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