Audio: U.S. Pork Products Making Big Gains in Australia and New Zealand

Click to play audio file

One of the regions that helped push U.S. pork exports to record levels in 2019 is Oceania, where exports to Australia increased by about one-third year-over-year and the volume shipped to New Zealand jumped by nearly 40%. Because distribution and sale of fresh U.S. pork faces significant restrictions in the region, most of the export volume to Oceania is raw material used for further processing. However, value-added U.S. pork products are also rapidly gaining popularity in Australia and New Zealand’s retail and foodservice sectors.

From her office in Singapore, Sabrina Yin, USMEF ASEAN director, oversees promotional activities for U.S. pork in Australia and New Zealand. 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. Yin adds that USMEF is looking 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.

Last year 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. Exports to New Zealand were 10,866 mt, up 38% from 2018, with value increasing 45% to $37.2 million.


Joe Schuele: One of the regions that helped push U.S. pork exports to record levels in 2019 is Oceania. Exports to Australia increase by about one-third year over year, and shipments to New Zealand were up nearly 40%. Fresh U.S. pork faces significant restrictions in the region, so most exports are in the form of raw materials for further processing. But U.S. value-added products are also gaining traction in the region’s retail and foodservice sectors. Sabrina Yin is based in Singapore as the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s regional director for southeast Asia. She oversees promotional activities for U.S. pork in Australia and New Zealand. Yin has more details on U.S. pork’s soaring popularity in the region in this USMEF report.

Sabrina Yin: For the Australia and New Zealand markets, we want to continue to support the small goods processors. We also want to take advantage of the processed U.S. pork moving into the market. A lot of other items are available in the retail supermarkets in the region. We want to make sure that we plan a correct program to reach out directly to consumers and also the foodservice operators, because all of these ready-to-cook products and processed products from the U.S. will really save time and cost, because labor costs and raw ingredient costs in the Australia and New Zealand markets is one of the major factors for all of these operators to look at. So hopefully with a lot more suitable U.S. processed product we have identified from our U.S. producers, we will be trying to look for opportunities to introduce suitable buyers or suitable retail stores that they can utilize to feature the items.

Joe Schuele: Other markets where U.S. pork exports set new records in 2019 included China/Hong Kong, Central America and South America. For more information, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.

# # #

The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.