The meat processing and exporting industry is calling on the government to prioritise its workforce for Covid-19 vaccinations.
According to analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA), NZ’s overall meat exports during the year reached historically high levels – 7% above 2018 exports ($8.6 billion) and 21% above 2017 ($7.6 billion).
The top 10 markets for New Zealand meat remained unchanged during 2020. China continued to be the major customer, with exports worth $3.3 billion, accounting for 36% of total exports for the year.
While exports to China were down from the record levels of 2019 ($3.7 billion), these were still 40% higher than during 2018 ($2.3 billion).
Exports to Germany and the Netherlands decreased by 8% and 21% respectively, but the value of exports to all other of NZ’s top markets increased.
Sheep meat exports rose by 3%, to just over 400,000 tonnes, with China the top market, followed by the UK and US. Exports to the UK increased 10% by value compared to 2019.
Beef exports rose in both volume and value, to 471,718 tonnes, worth $3.7 billion, with the US the top market, up 42% by value, to $1.4 billion. Beef exports to China dropped by 26%, compared to the record high levels of 2019, as other countries like Brazil increased their access to China. However, this was offset by an increase in exports to other markets.