NZ exports: SE Asia and Far East fast overtaking traditional markets

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New zealand, Southeast asia, East asia, Asia

NZ exports: SE Asia and Far East fast overtaking traditional markets
New Zealand’s Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce, has released a report showing growth in the country’s food and beverage sector is being driven in particular by emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The report, an Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Food & Beverage Industry 2013​, says that Asia is now New Zealand’s largest export country destination, and accounts for more than 40% of export value.

The report confirms China is the single largest food and beverage export destination, and Asian countries make up 10 of the top 25 destinations​,” said Joyce, adding that the New Zealand primary sector is in the middle of a fundamental transition from feeding Westerners to feeding the Asia-Pacific region.

The value of exports to China, at US$2.9bn, is nearly one-third higher than the next on the list, Australia and the United States, which are tied for second place at US2.1bn. Meanwhile, its overall Asia-Pacific trade aside from China accounts for US$3.9bn, bringing the total amount of New Zealand’s Asia-Pacific business to US$6.8bn out of exports worth US$17.4bn.

Fifty years ago, over three-quarters of New Zealand’s exports went to Europe with just 5% going to Southeast Asia and the Far East. Today’s total of 39% to Asia dwarfs the current European trade total of 16%.

This therefore suggests that the growth is being driven largely by East and Southeast Asia, followed by solid performers such as Australia, as well as smaller but fast-growing export markets like South Africa and South Asia. By the same measure, New Zealand’s traditional export markets, such as North America and Europe, are growing slowly.

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