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The future of the Asian dairy and meat markets: 3 things you need to know

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a dairy farmer or into beef farming: you’ll already know that one of our biggest markets is Asia. Indeed, it has come about  that the Chinese are the biggest buyers of New Zealand lamb by volume – pretty impressive when you consider that the world’s most populous nation is also its second-biggest economy.

And dairy? Well, Te Ara reckons that our country sells up to 95 per cent of its dairy products abroad – a larger slice of the pie than any other country. Our dairy products go all around the world, but Asia, in particular, seem to go for cheeses, whole milk and skim milk powder.

As one of New Zealand’s intrepid army of dairy and meat farmers, we at Line 7 figured that you should cast your eyes over these three facts and figures about the Asian farming markets:

Global demand for dairy is growing, but the pace in Asia is slowing

According to a report released by Fonterra, New Zealand’s home-grown dairy company that’s owned by 13,000 dairy farmers (and 13,000 of you guys can’t be wrong, surely?) and the world’s biggest exporter of dairy products, the rush for dairy products just keeps on growing.

This is down to population growth, the westernisation of diets and folk getting paid more, especially in developing Asian countries such as China and India. However, supply isn’t meeting demand across these two countries and other parts of South East Asia, so it’s up to big exporters like us Kiwi dairy farmers to meet it.

The Chinese are the biggest consumers of New Zealand lamb by volume – no mean feat when you consider that the world’s most populous nation is also its second-biggest economy.

China has opened its doors to New Zealand meat exporters once again

The Chinese were a little worried over the certification on New Zealand red meat during 2014, which led a pause in exports during May and July of that year. As we’re sure you’re aware, it’s all been dealt with now, and it’s only made us realise how importance our meat exporting links with China are.

To underline this, the lamb sector of the market was worth NZ$343 million during 2012-13 – just behind the British, who spent NZ$504 million on Kiwi lamb during the same period.

Food safety is an ongoing issue

ANZ’s rural economist, Con Williams, states that food safety is paramount to our continued good relationship with China. After the incidences in May and July last year, our country’s meat industry officials are now working to further tighten procedures and bring more stringent regulations to the fore.

These procedures are expected to be rolled out across the board for all exports, according to the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

“We have agreed on a framework to ensure our exporters know what is required of them by Chinese regulators, and Chinese regulators have the assurances they require around New Zealand meat. This is part of our on-going relationship building with China as an important export market,” said Carol Barnao, MPI director-general.

Both New Zealand's meat and dairy farming is with hundreds of millions of dollars to the Asian market.