NZ dairy and red meat exports to China forecast to grow in next decade

Exports of red meat and dairy to China will continue to grow in the next decade, however, the amount will eventually taper off as the country looks to produce more of its own food.

That is according to the 2023-2032 China Agricultural Outlook Report recently released by China’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has crunched the numbers in the report which forecasts consumption and trade trends of key agricultural commodities over the next decade.

Last year China imported 18.5 million metric tonnes of dairy products and that is forecast to grow by 25 per cent in the next decade.

It is increasing its own domestic dairy supply, with production forecast to grow by nearly 40 per cent by 2032 – however, demand is forecast to increase by nearly 35 per cent – leaving room for imported product.

But MFAT said eventually the growth in production would outpace the growth in consumption.

“Dairy imports will continue to grow over the projection period but the rate of growth will decline over time.”

Production of beef and sheepmeat within China is also forecast to grow but at a slower rate of 9.2 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively.

Imports of beef will lift 17.2 per cent and sheepmeat imports are forecast to grow 33.3 per cent in the next decade.

China will continue to eat more red meat than it can produce – so will have a continued reliance on imports.

“For imported beef, the projected increase of 17 per cent amounts to 460,000 metric tonnes, which, for context, is more than double New Zealand’s total beef exports to China in the year-ending September 2023,” MFAT’s report said.