The New Zealand red meat sector continues to perform strongly with overall exports reaching $937 million in June, up 16 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest analysis from the Meat Industry Association (MIA).
Sheepmeat exports increased by 15 per cent to $345m compared with June 2020, beef exports rose eight per cent to $411m and co-products by 40 per cent to $181m.
There was also an increase in the value of all categories of co-products, with the largest two categories – prepared meat products and edible offals – increasing by 88 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association, said China was once again the largest overall market in June with exports worth $377m, an increase of 37 per cent compared with the same period last year.
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"We saw a very significant increase in beef exports to China during June, with a 60 per cent increase year-on-year to $156m.
China's domestic pork production continued to be affected by African Swine Fever, which resulted in demand for high volumes of imported meat, Karapeeva said.
New Zealand also benefited from reduced supply from other major beef exporters, such as Australia, which was re-building its herd, and Argentina, where the government had imposed restrictions on beef exports, Karapeeva said.
"Overall, over the past 12 months, New Zealand has exported red meat and co-products worth $9.1 billion. While this is three per cent lower than 2020, it is still historically very high."
While global meat prices remained high in 2020/21, they were slightly down on the levels seen in 2019/20, and the value of the New Zealand dollar has also increased against major currencies like the US dollar over the last year.
China was the largest market for the year with a total of $3.6bn, followed by the United States with $1.9bn and the United Kingdom with $419m.
In total, over the past 12 months, New Zealand has exported 53,946 tonnes of chilled sheepmeat and 352,632 tonnes of frozen, and 38,437 tonnes of chilled beef and 442,181 tonnes of frozen.