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Red Meat Exports Reach More Than $870 Million In January As Sector Demonstrates Resilience

New Zealand exported red meat and co-products worth $873.2 million in January 2020, an increase of 26 per cent compared to January 2019, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Despite global market instability as a result of the Coronavirus, the market prices achieved in January were still stronger than the same month last year. The value of beef exports was up by 50 per cent sheepmeat was up by 18 per cent and co-products were up two per cent.

While the average value of sheepmeat exports to China declined from $8.87/kg in December 2019 to $7.63/kg in January, it was still significantly higher than in January 2019 ($6.57/kg).

There was also a drop in the average value of beef exports to China over the same period, down from $9.17/kg in December 2019 to $8.67/kg in January 2020, but this was also higher than in January 2019 ($7.28/kg).

The New Zealand red met sector also demonstrated its agility by rapidly diverting product into other markets as the Coronavirus-related slowdown became apparent.

Overall, exports of sheepmeat and beef increased 10 per cent in January by volume, compared to December 2019. Although beef exports to China, Japan and Korea fell, a similar volume was still exported globally.

The volume of beef exports to the US increased by 38 per cent and to Canada by 48 per cent month-on-month. Sheepmeat export volumes to China grew four per cent on December and increased 23 per cent globally, including to the UK (+22%), US (+16%) and Saudi Arabia (+250%).

China remained the highest value red meat and co-products market in January, totalling 40 per cent of NZ exports, worth $351 million. The US was next with $156.5 million, followed by the UK with $48.7 million. Values increased in almost all markets, with significant growth in Germany ($34.8 million) and Japan ($33.8 million).

Tim Ritchie, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association, says the latest figures underlines the resilience of New Zealand’s red meat sector and its global networks .

“Despite disruptions to the supply chain cause by the Coronavirus, the underlying global demand for protein remains strong.

“New Zealand’s red meat sector exports to 120 countries around the world and that international network of customers has enabled the industry to respond quickly and divert product to other markets.

“But New Zealand cannot take this resilience for granted. The red meat sector is a key driver of prosperity for the New Zealand economy and underpins countless regional communities. We need policy settings which recognise this contribution.”

Notes to editor

The Meat Industry Association of New Zealand (Incorporated) (‘MIA’) is the voluntary trade association representing processors, marketers, and exporters of New Zealand red meat, rendered products, and hides and skins. MIA members represent 99 percent of domestic red meat production and export. The red meat industry is a critical part of New Zealand’s economy, and the second largest goods exporter with exports of $9.3 billion. It is New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry employing some 25,000 people in about 60 processing plants, mainly in the regions.

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