China takes pole position for NZ sheepmeat exports

By Carina Perkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

China is importing more NZ lamb and beef
China is importing more NZ lamb and beef

Related tags: New zealand, Roasting, Meat, Developed country, China, Lamb new zealand, Beef, Lamb

China became New Zealand’s biggest single sheepmeat market last year, accounting for 28% of lamb exports, 52% of mutton exports and 33% of sheepmeat exports.

According to data from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), total sheepmeat exports to China reached 131,000 tonnes (t) in 2012-13, compared with 74,000t exported to the UK.

However, the organisation added that the value of exports to China remained “well behind” returns achieved in EU markets, which account for 40% of total lamb exports.

“The average value received from China was $4,800 FOB per tonne, compared with $9,000 per tonne from the EU and $11,500 from the US,”​ it said.

“This reflects the product mix exported to the different countries. Exports to developed markets include a higher proportion of cuts that are case-ready. Cuts exported to China will generally be further processed before being consumed.”

The data revealed that total New Zealand lamb exports were up 18% to 313,000t last year, although average value was down 16%. The majority of lamb exported (98%) was bone-in or boneless cuts, with just 2% exported in carcase form.

Beef and veal exports were up 4.6% year-on-year in 2012-13 to 367,000t shipped weight. Although the US remained New Zealand’s largest market for beef and veal, accounting for 48% in 2012-13, B+LNZ said that exports to China increased almost six-fold, from 6,300t in 2011–12 to more than 36,000t in 2012–13.

It added that the average value of beef exports to China increased 15%, hitting the same level as received from the US.

Related topics: Meat

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