The coronavirus epidemic is going to have a bigger impact than people think it is, according to Massey University Professor of Agribusiness, Hamish Gow.
“For agricultural and forestry products overall, China accounts for about 28% of NZ exports.
“It’s not nearly as much concentration as NZ ran with the UK prior to the 1970s, but it’s not insignificant. Of course, this doesn’t mean NZ shouldn’t sell more produce to China just because it already sells a lot there,” he explains.
“But it does pay to be aware of the rising concentration and potential fallout if conditions were to deteriorate rapidly in that market and plan accordingly.”
Meat has seen big Chinese market share changes over recent times, including last year.
“China now takes 30% of NZ’s sheepmeat exports and 24% of beef exports. Ten years ago these shares were 3.2% and 0.1% respectively.
“Most recently, African swine fever in China may have generated extra demand for imported meats including beef and lamb, as consumers look to replace any shortfall in domestic pork supplies,” Steel says.
“Gains in China’s market share for NZ sheepmeat has also coincided with the UK’s share dipping sharply after the June 2016 Brexit vote. The EU’s share has drifted lower.”
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