NZ’s halal-certified red meat exports more than quadruple

NZ exports of halal-certified meat to Muslim and non-Muslim markets (years ended September 2003-2019)

Over the past two decades, New Zealand’s exports of halal-certified beef, sheepmeat and co-products have grown by 350 percent. Now four-fifths of New Zealand’s halal exports is sought by Muslim customers in non-Muslim majority markets around the globe.

The Meat Industry Association’s latest analysis of the export statistics for the year ending 30 September 2019 show halal-certified exports have grown by 345 percent in volume to 459,150 tonnes over the past 16 years. In 2003, 77 percent of the 103,018 tonnes of halal-certified meat went to markets where the majority of the population is Muslim and it was a condition of market access.  In 2018-2019, this was reversed with 87 percent of those exports going to 10+ markets, the majority of which are non-Muslim majority.

Chief amongst these in the 2018-2019 export season was China where Muslim customers purchased 325,097 tonnes of halal-certified product – 71 percent of the total shipped worldwide. Others in the top five include Malaysia, Canada, USA and Indonesia (each some three percent of total halal-certified shipments). Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands are also important customers.

2018-2019 Tonnes % of total

Change from


China 325,097 71% 20%
Malaysia 15,591 3% -28%
Canada 14,569 3% -2%
US 14,449 3% -12%
Indonesia 14,234 3% 2%

Source: Compiled by MIA from MIA statistics.

“Halal processing is a key feature of the New Zealand meat industry,” notes the MIA, adding it enables the New Zealand meat industry to meet the demand for halal-certified meat by Muslim customers around the world.

In 2018/19, New Zealand exported halal-certified meat to 62 countries – approximately 46 percent of total red meat exports were halal-certified. This is nearly 460,000 tonnes, accounting for approximately $3.5 billion of export revenue and is an increase of seven percent  on last year’s trade.

New Zealand’s experience in producing and exporting halal-certifed red meat started in the 1970s. A world-recognised system, underpinned by a robust regulatory framework, has been developed by New Zealand requiring pre-slaughter stunning of livestock, which satisfies both the religious requirements of markets, alongside our animal welfare requirements.

These facts reflect the growth in the world market for all halal products, not only  meat, which in 2011 was estimated to be worth US$2.3 trillion.

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