Despite the impact of COVID-19, the country's red meat exports for April were largely unchanged compared to the same time a year before.
New Zealand exported $859 million of lamb, mutton, beef and co-products during April, a similar amount to the same time in 2019, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA) released on Tuesday.
Although in general terms exports remained similar, there were marked differences in the amount of product bought by cetain markets.
The biggest increase came from Japan, where beef exports rose by 87 percent from last April, for a total of $24.4 million.
That coincided with a reduction of tariff rates on beef into Japan, and saw total savings on New Zealand beef exports to the country of around $32 million, according to MIA.
Total red meat exports to Japan rose 66 percent, to $46.8 million.
Exports to China were up 16 percent, to $353.6 million, and those to Taiwan also rose by 36 percent, to $36.4 million.
Red meat exports to the UK dropped 27 percent, to $39.6 million, while those to Germany dropped by 30 percent, to $22 million.
Sirma Karapeeva, MIA's chief executive, said New Zealand benefited from having trade relationships across various markets.
"Whilst there is some softening of prices, demand is now increasing for prime cuts," Karapeeva said.
"The natural grass-fed attributes of New Zealand red meat is giving us an advantage. There is a premium to be gained from leveraging the New Zealand story, ensuring it is credible and backed by quality assurance.
"The silver lining of this crisis is that it’s providing our industry more opportunities to look at different channels to market such as retail. Processing and exporting companies are out there exploring these and other options."
The data from April comes after red meat exports topped $1 billion in March, the first time such a figure has been reached in a single month.