3 Apr 2013

China hungry for NZ beef as well as sheepmeat

2:22 pm on 3 April 2013

Meat export figures show China is hungry for New Zealand beef as well as sheepmeat.

Last year, China edged ahead of the UK to become New Zealand's biggest single market for sheepmeat in terms of volume.

Beef exports to China are growing even faster. In the six months to February 2013, New Zealand exported more beef directly to China than the previous six years combined.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand's Beijing-based market manager Siu-Lim Shim says in January alone 5000 tonnes of beef was shipped there, more than double the same period last year.

She says the more favourable tariffs New Zealand has under the free trade agreement with China are helping.

Siu-Lim Shim expects sales to keep rising as demand grows, and adds that a government crackdown on illegal meat imports into China, known as the "grey trade", has also stimulated imports through authorised channels.