Aussie taste for New Zealand beef on the up

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenCountryman
Australia is importing more New Zealand beef.
Camera IconAustralia is importing more New Zealand beef. Credit: Supplied

Australians are eating more New Zealand beef as domestic cattle and wholesale beef prices continue to hover in record territory.

Australia imported more than 5015.5 tonnes of chilled and frozen NZ beef from October 2020 to September 2021, of which 113.6 tonnes was sent to WA, according to the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.

New South Wales residents were by far the biggest consumers of NZ beef, with the State importing a whopping 2393.8 tonnes — nearly half the national total.

Victoria (1321.8 tonnes) and Queensland (1012.6 tonnes) were next, followed by WA, Tasmania (102.8 tonnes) and South Australia (70.6 tonnes).

New Zealand and Japan are the only countries that export beef to Australia, but just 139.8 tonnes of Japanese product was sent to Australia in the same time period — most of which landed in NSW.

Other countries have expressed interest but have yet to secure the approvals.

“The Animal Biosecurity Branch beef review approved the import of fresh beef, subject to import conditions, from Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United States and Vanuatu,” a DAWE spokesman said.

“However, the Netherlands, the US and Vanuatu did not finalise negotiations and currently cannot import fresh beef into Australia.”

According to Beef Central, NZ beef imports to Australia are highly seasonal and opportunistic, coinciding with rises in domestic Australian meat prices.

Beef Central reported earlier this month Australian wholesale prices for NZ imported beef were $1/kg to $2/kg cheaper than equivalent Australian-produced beef for premium cuts such as cube rolls.

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