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.