U.S. Pork Makes Big Gains in Australia and New Zealand

Shipping containers ready to go to ports unknown. ( Pixabay/MGN )

Value-added U.S. pork products are gaining popularity in Australia and New Zealand’s retail and food service sectors. 

In 2019, U.S. pork exports to Australia totaled more than 105,000 metric tons (mt), a year-over-year increase of 31%, while export value climbed 33% to $302 million, according to a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) release. Exports to New Zealand were 10,866 mt, up 38% from 2018, with value increasing 45% to $37.2 million.     

Oceania helped push U.S. pork exports to record levels in 2019. Distribution and sale of fresh U.S. pork faces significant restrictions in the region and as a result, most of the export volume to Oceania is raw material used for further processing. 

Sabrina Yin, USMEF regional director for Southeast Asia, oversees promotional activities for U.S. pork in Australia and New Zealand. In the weekly USMEF report, she explains that a tight labor market and rising raw material prices in these countries make finished U.S. pork products especially attractive to importers and distributors. 

“A lot of all those items are actually available in the retail supply market in the region,” Yin says. “We want to make sure that we plan a correct program to reach out to direct consumers and also to full service operators because all these really cool product or this process product from the U.S. will really save you time and costs. Labor costs and raw ingredient costs in the Australia-New Zealand sector is one of the major factors for all these operators to look at.”

USMEF wants to further expand sales of these products through direct consumer outreach as well as by matching U.S. suppliers with prospective customers, including distributors, retailers and foodservice operators.

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