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Red Meat Hits the US Mark

Meat New Zealand says that the beef and veal quota to the US is filling well ahead of last year. At this point, the quota will be fully utilised by the end of the quota year (December 31)

US import figures confirm that New Zealand meat products are entering at a much faster rate than 2002, and faster than Australian imports which are suffering from the recent drought.

Beef exports to the US are at 188,462 tonnes or 88.3% of the annual quota to the end of September. This compares with 169,322 tonnes (77.3%) last year.

Meat New Zealand Chairman, Jeff Grant says, "The US domestic beef market is strong and there is greater demand for red meat, coupled with short supplies due to the US/Canada border closing after Canada found BSE in an animal in May 2003."

Grant warned that US domestic prices may ease as imports of Canadian beef increase after the border was reopened for Canadian beef in August. While Canadian boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age have started to move into the US again, the border for live animals remains closed.

As the quota continues to fill this year and opportunities to Canada remain limited, the Asian markets, notably Taiwan and the Republic of Korea have been taking increased quantities of New Zealand Beef.

Grant said: "These markets show the importance of continually developing new trade for New Zealand red meat and not putting all our eggs in one basket." [

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