Record Meat Exports Despite Disruptions

According to the Meat Industry Association, New Zealand’s red meat exports reached $10bn in 2021 despite Covid challenges and some softening in the major China market.

Total red meat exports were up 9 percent by value compared to 2020, with sheepmeat up 5 percent to around $4bn, beef up 9 percent to $4bn, and co-products jumping 19 p[ercent to almost $2bn.

“Despite all the disruptions and labour shortages, we were able to make the most of the global demand for red meat and generate record export revenue,” said MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva.

“The sector is continuing to perform for New Zealand in the most difficult conditions. However, supply chain challenges will significantly disrupt exports for some time to come and we do not yet know what impact that will have on the Easter chilled trade.

“This illustrates very clearly how critical it is for the industry to have access to sufficient labour including overseas migrants to capture the greatest market value and support the jobs of thousands of hard-working Kiwis.”

Karapeeva said there had been some volume softening from China, New Zealand’s biggest red meat market, but prices remained strong.

Overall sheep meat export volumes to China dropped by 15 percent in the December 2021 quarter. However, the value of sheep meat exports to China increased by 3 percent in the same period.

Beef export volumes to China were the same as the final quarter of 2020, at 46 percent, but increased 33 percent by value.