New Zealand’s red meat sector continues to achieve strong export performance despite significant labor shortages and global supply chain disruptions, according to the Meat Industry Association.
The latest MIA analysis shows the industry is overcoming significant headwinds with exports reaching $940 million in January, a 27% increase in value from January 2021.
The value of exports increased to almost all major markets.
China rose 25% to $398 million, the US 32% to $195 million, the UK 9% to $41 million and Japan 76% to $40 million.
“January was another very positive month for exports, reflecting efforts across the sector to overcome the many challenges of processing and exporting,” MIA Managing Director Sirma Karapeeva said in a statement. a statement.
However, the pressures were constant, she said.
“There is currently no end in sight to shipping delays and the Covid-19 outbreak is exacerbating existing staff shortages, further limiting the number of cattle factories can process and affecting some of the product offerings to added value of the industry.”
All of these factors underscored how important it was to get the policy settings right, in areas such as immigration, to allow the industry to operate to its full potential, Karapeeva said.
Beef exports performed strongly in January, with volume up 7% to 42,291 tonnes and value up 51% to $422 million.
The top three markets for beef were China ($186 million), the United States ($129 million) and Japan ($24 million).
“Strong demand means the average freight on board (FoB) value for all beef exports in January hit a record high of $9.98/kg.”
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview Sirma Karapeeva on The Country below:
Karapeeva said the “although very welcome” high prices masked some of the pressure the industry was under and should not be taken as a sign that “everything is rosy”.
The January data also revealed a significant decline in the volume of chilled exports year-on-year, she said.
“This indicates that supply chain disruptions continue to impact chilled exports, with companies sending more exports in frozen form due to disrupted supply chain risks, including downtimes. considerably longer transit times. This has an impact on the value.”
The total of 3,061 tonnes of chilled exports was 41% lower than last January and there was a drop in chilled exports to the UK and all major European markets.
The 452 tonnes of chilled sheepmeat exported to the UK was the lowest level in January for more than 20 years.
It accounted for just 17% of sheepmeat exports to the UK by volume, down from the usual 40-50% in January.
While sheep meat volumes overall fell 14% to 31,449 tonnes, high prices saw the value rise 12% to $369 million.