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Red Meat Sector Exports To Italy Increase By 244 Per Cent In October

New Zealand’s red meat sector exports to Italy increased by 244 per cent in October, compared with 2021, with demand for sheepmeat and beef hides soaring, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Overall, red meat exports for the month were worth $737 million, a six per cent increase on October last year. China was again the largest market, at $290m, followed by the US ($134m), Japan ($32m) and then Italy ($26m). Exports to Canada were also up 82 per cent on last October by value, to $22m.

MIA Chief Executive Sirma Karapeeva said that October had been a steady month for exports, with Italy the stand-out change from 2021.

“Italy is an important market for beef hides, which are used for the manufacturing of luxury goods. The value of these exports increased from $5.6m last October to $19.5m this October and this was the highest monthly value for more than four years.

“Sheepmeat exports to Italy were also worth $4.3m, compared to virtually no exports last October. This shows the importance and value of having a diverse export market strategy.”

A total of 22,970 tonnes of sheepmeat, worth $289m, was exported globally. This was a drop of six per cent by volume and value on 2021 but still in line with previous October months.

The volume of beef exports was largely unchanged from last October, at 27,505 tonnes, but value increased by 19 per cent to $273m, mainly driven by China.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in China as there has been a noticeable recent weakening in the retail and food service sectors there. China is an important market for New Zealand’s red meat sector and the softening in demand is certainly affecting pricing.”

There were increases in the value of the two main fifth quarter (co-product) categories, with hides and skins up 37 per cent to $36m and casings and tripe up 38 per cent to $30m. Overall, fifth quarter exports were worth $175m, a 12 per cent increase on last October.

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