December 08, 2003



New Zealand Beef Exports Surge 25% in October


During October, New Zealand's (NZ) beef exports surged 25% to 15,458 tons compared with the same period last year.  NZ has experienced substantial growth in its beef exports this year - January to October beef exports were 18% higher this year than last, propelling NZ from being the sixth largest beef exporting country to place fourth (United States Department of Agriculture).


The growth has primarily come from a hungry US market, with NZ beef exports to the US up 9%, but also from substantial increases in exports to Asia - including Japan (up 73%), Korea (up 54%) and Taiwan (up 59%).


Demand for NZ beef continues to grow, despite the significant appreciation in the NZ$ since the beginning of the year.  During 2003, NZ appears to have taken advantage of low world beef supplies, recoveries in US and Japanese beef demand and a drought-affected Australian beef supply to position its self as a major beef exporter.


However, looking into 2004, NZ beef exporters will have to be wary of any continued appreciation of the NZ$, a recovery in Australian beef supplies and the resumption of Canadian live cattle exports to the US.