Tuesday, 05 July 2022 10:16

Drop in volume but growth for New Zealand red meat exports

Written by  Staff Reporters
Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva. Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva.

New Zealand’s red meat sector overcame a significant drop in export volumes to achieve sales of $1.1 billion during May – a 28% increase on 2021, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

While the volume of sheepmeat exported was 6% down compared to May last year, the value was up 23% to $456 million.

Beef export volumes increased 1% year-on-year but value grew by 34% to $484m.

Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the MIA, says high values are helping to absorb the impact of continued market volatility and higher costs.

“So far this year, we have exported 183,000 tonnes of sheepmeat, which is 14% less than the same period last year.”

However, Karapeeva says, the value of sheepmeat exports so far for 2022 is $2.2 billion, 8% higher than the same period last year.

“It is a similar story for beef. So far this year, we have exported 6% less beef than the same period for 2021, however the value of beef exports so far this year is $2.2 billion, which is 29% higher than the same period last year.”

Sheepmeat exports to China dropped in May compared to last year but exports to all other markets increased, particularly to the United Kingdom.

“This is why it is critically important to have quality trade deals in place that unlock as many markets as possible so companies have the flexibility to adjust and weather the headwinds,” says Karapeeva.

The 5,376 tonnes exported to the UK was the largest monthly volume since March 2020. However, due to the ongoing supply chain issues, only 8% of export to the UK in May this year were chilled, compared to 40% back in March 2020.

Despite the drop in volume, values for China remained strong during May, with the overall FoB value for sheepmeat at $12.74/kg.

Beef exports to China increased by 27 per cent year-on-year and the 20,794 tonnes was the largest monthly volume so far for 2022. The value of these exports was also up 72 per cent, to $207m.

Exports to the other major market, the United States, were down 30 per cent compared to last May. This continues the trend of lower export volumes to the United States so far this year. This can be attributed to increased domestic US production as a result of drought impacting the demand for imported beef.

However, prices for beef remained strong, and the value of exports to the US only dropped by five per cent, to $125m, compared to last May.

 Beef prices in all the other major markets remained very strong, and the average FoB value increased to $10.43/kg.

It was also another strong month for co-products with exports worth $189m, up 26 per cent compared to last May.

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