Red meat exports fall back from record 2015

New Zealand’s exports of beef and sheepmeat fell in value in 2016, after the record red meat export season in 2015, according to new figures from Statistics NZ.

The total value of all export goods was $48.4 billion for the year ended December 2016, down $544 million from the previous year, Statistics NZ reports. This is the second annual fall in a row for exports. The latest annual total is $1.6 billion less than the high of the 2014 year.

The figures show that both dairy and meat and edible offal fell by value in 2016. The biggest fall by value was for meat and edible offal, New Zealand’s second largest export group, with sales down $909 million to $5.9 billion. The fall in meat was driven by beef (down $481 million) and lamb (down $415 million). The United States accounted for three-quarters of the fall in beef, while the European Union (EU) accounted for nearly half of the fall in lamb. The amount of meat fell 7.4 percent from 2015, with beef falling 14 percent and lamb falling 4.6 percent.

“The large fall in meat exports for 2016 reflects a decline from the record meat season in 2015 for both value and quantity,” international statistics senior manager Nicola Growden said.

“The 2016 year’s meat exports have returned to levels similar to those seen in 2014.”

The quantity of milk powder, butter, and cheese exported rose to a new high of 3.0 million tonnes, despite a near three percent fall in the value of dairy exports to $11.2 billion.

The quantity of milk powder, butter, and cheese has been rising since 2013 and is now 14 percent higher than it was then. The quantity exported to China was 25 percent of the total in 2016, slightly up from 23 percent in 2015.

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