Defying global supply chain issues

New Zealand exported red meat worth $1.1 billion during June despite the ongoing global supply chain issues affecting sheepmeat and beef volumes, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA). 

The 15 per cent increase in value compared to June 2021 was largely driven by beef exports, particularly to China. Although the total volume of beef exports was down seven per cent, the overall value was up 23 per cent to $504 million. The value of beef exports to China was up 39 per cent to $217m.

The overall volume of sheepmeat exported was largely unchanged compared to last June, at 32,470 tonnes, with value up 15 per cent to $398m. Volumes of chilled sheepmeat exports, however, continued to drop, down 31 per cent to 2,253 tonnes.

Sheepmeat exports to China saw a drop in both volume (21 per cent) and value (31 per cent) compared to the same period last year, but this was offset for by increases in exports to other major sheepmeat markets.

That included the UK with volume up 14 per cent and value up 28 per cent to $40m, and the United States, where the volume increased by 12 per cent and the value by 63 per cent to $58m.

“This is a remarkable performance in the face of challenging supply chain issues impacting our exporters’ abilities to get products to our global markets,” says Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the Meat Industry Association.

“What is also pleasing is that our grass-fed sustainable beef and lamb is clearly in demand across the globe. Consumers are increasingly valuing our natural low-impact farming practices and our farmers deserve a lot of credit for this.”

Total exports for the June 2021/2022 year were worth just under $11 billion, an increase in value of 20 per cent compared to 2020/2021 period. 

Sheepmeat value was up 12 per cent to $4.3 billion and beef by 28 per cent to $4.6 billion.   

“This clearly shows the hard work of our meat processing and exporting companies, who are capturing as much value as they can for the New Zealand economy under really trying circumstances,” says Ms Karapeeva.