Wednesday, 03 July 2024 08:55

Red meat's rollercoaster ride

Written by  Peter Burke
MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva hopes the present downturn will soon sort itself out. MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva hopes the present downturn will soon sort itself out.

Global demand is still strong for NZ protein and the outlook for meat is good despite the present turmoil in some key markets - especially China.

That's the view of Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive, Sirma Karapeeva, who says while she may be overly positive, she believes the present downturn will sort itself out in due course. But she says there remains a question as to how long this will take.

"How long in these doldrums? I can't speculate. I hope this will happen sooner rather than later, but the big challenge is what happens in China," she told Rural News.

Karapeeva notes that historically China has been a huge driver for primary products globally and the Chinese domestic economy seems to be at the heart of their problems which has led to a slowdown in demand and a drop in price.

She says the sheepmeat situation in China is a little bit different to beef for several reasons.

"Firstly, there are large number of countries exporting to China, so it is really a very competitive space and we are competing with volume exporters like Brazil, Australia, and a number of other South American countries. So that market is very competitive," she says.

Karapeeva says China itself is a big player domestically. The statistics in 2022 show that China had 194 million sheep.

She says because of all these factors, it's hard to get an accurate handle on where the sheepmeat situation will land in China and whether the same high prices of previous years will return.

There has been talk that the higher priced lamb cuts have been doing well in China at the expense of the 'commodity' lamb.

But Karapeeva points out that the so-called 'commodity lamb' still plays a big part in Chinese cuisine in the form of their 'hot pots'.

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