March 30, 2004



New Zealand Beef Exports Hit Record High In February


New Zealand beef exports reached the highest level on record in February, up 28% on last year to 46,875 tons sw, as exports to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the US increased significantly.


The tight supply of beef in the Japanese market, given the BSE-induced ban on US beef since late December 2003, has contributed to New Zealand beef exports for February increasing 110% on last year, to 3,408 tons sw. New Zealand beef exports to Japan for February were the second highest on record, only narrowly surpassed by May 1997 exports at 3,476 tons sw.  Beef exports to Japan for the first two months of 2004 reached a record 6,352 tons sw, some 64% above the previous high set in 1998 (3,874 tons sw).


Similar to Japan, New Zealand beef exports to Korea for February jumped 136% on last year to 4,655 tons sw - the largest monthly shipment since March 1996. Exports to Taiwan reached a record high of 4,005 tons sw, jumping 98% from last year.


New Zealand beef exports to the US for February increased 8% on last year to 25,209 tons sw, as demand and prices from the US for lean domestic beef remained firm.