Meat & Livestock News

New Zealand’s Red Meat Exports Navigate Market Challenges, MIA Reports

The Meat Industry Association (MIA) has unveiled data that underscores the trials faced by New Zealand’s red meat sector on the global stage. The August 2023 trade figures reveal that red meat exports were valued at $730 million, marking a 16% downturn from the same month in the preceding year. 

A significant factor in this decline was the sharp 44% drop in exports to China, amounting to $213 million. Conversely, exports to the United States and Canada showed an upward trajectory, with increases of 26% ($188 million) and 136% ($40 million) respectively.

MIA’s Chief Executive, Sirma Karapeeva, pointed out that August had been a landmark export month. However, New Zealand now faces heightened competition, predominantly from China. 

The Chinese market has welcomed meat imports from an expansive 42 countries, with beef being a primary export from 30 nations. The influx of beef from Brazil and other South American territories has notably swayed the market’s dynamics. 

The competitive rates of Australian mutton exports to China have also intensified the market’s challenges.

The recent initiation of the UK-NZ Free Trade Agreement has borne positive results for beef exporters to the United Kingdom. 

The volume and value of exports have seen an encouraging rise compared to the previous year. In the context of North America, the United States, emerging from a drought, is embarking on a phase of herd rejuvenation, indicating a promising horizon for beef exports.

In sheepmeat, exports witnessed a 6% growth, totalling 25,162 tonnes. However, the monetary value registered a 13% decrease, culminating at $236 million. The primary reason for this reduction was the 25% fall in export values to China, which settled at $73 million. 

On the brighter side, sheepmeat exports to the US and UK have flourished, with the US seeing a 22% boost ($41 million) and the UK a 20% increment ($19 million).

The beef sector observed a 4% growth in export volumes, amassing 41,466 tonnes. Still, the monetary value saw a 17% contraction, standing at $340 million. The most significant dip was in exports to China, which plummeted by 37% in volume and a remarkable 56% in value. 

In contrast, the US market is recovering, with exports soaring by 118% in volume and 82% in value compared to the previous August. Canada’s appetite for beef has been robust, evidenced by a 284% surge in volume and a 230% escalation in value.

The UK Free Trade Agreement has been a boon for New Zealand’s beef exports. In the initial three months post-agreement, beef exports to the UK were pegged at $8.1 million, marking a 95% surge in volume and a 117% increase in value from the year before. 

This growth trajectory has led to tariff savings close to $1.6 million in the first quarter.