If current trends continue, China will supercede Britain this year as New Zealand's biggest market for frozen sheepmeat.
China has the world's largest sheep flock, but numbers are declining, making it more dependent on imports
The rising middle class there is also increasing the demand for more valuable lamb cuts.
The Alliance group is New Zealand's biggest supplier of sheep meat to China
Marketing general manager Murray Brown says the rising demand there has come at an opportune time for New Zealand.
''China have probably been the saviour (of the business),'' he said.
Alliance is working with an established Chinese importer and distributor called Grand Farm.