Red meat exports reflect global volatility

New Zealand’s red meat sector exported $759 million of products in January this year, the Meat Industry Association says.

Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said the result was down 8% on January last year, reflecting the ongoing volatility in global markets.

"Clearly, challenges remain for our red meat exporters.

"This was the lowest January result since 2019. The main contributor to the drop was China, with exports down 21% year-on-year to $263m. However, overall exports to the United States were up 10% to $182m and to the United Kingdom by 34% to $38m.

"The volume of chilled sheepmeat exports also increased by 48% overall, to 4311 tonnes.

"While this reflects a recovery from low levels of chilled exports in the last two January periods, it is positive given the logistics disruptions of recent months."

Overall, volumes of sheepmeat and beef exports were relatively unchanged compared to last January, but the value of sheepmeat exports fell 9% to $305m and beef by 6% to $320m.

This reflected the influence of China on overall export values. Exports to China fell both by volume and value. The free on board value of sheepmeat was down by $1.45/kg to $5.07/kg and beef by $0.99/kg to $7.28/kg.

Sheepmeat exports to the United States rose 16% to $45m and beef exports by 12% to $120m.

Beef exports to the United Kingdom also continue to grow, from $588,000 last January to over $2m, a result of the UK Free Trade Agreement that came into effect in May last year.

Sheepmeat accounted for most of the increase in exports to the United Kingdom, recovering from the low levels of January last year.