Affco meat fetches high prices at home

Affco is selling more of its meat in New Zealand, with the high dollar bringing returns as good as, or even better than, premium export markets.

The domestic market is closing the gap on Affco's biggest markets, Britain and Europe, partly because of the exchange rate, marketing manager Dale Kwok said.

"We have 220,000 tonnes of quota in UK and Europe. New Zealand will probably be short of that quota by about 60,000 tonnes this year, because of diversification to other markets that are paying better prices, as opposed to UK and Europe which are in the doldrums," Kwok said.

"A good percentage of Affco business is in the local market, partly based on the strong New Zealand dollar."

Kwok declined to give percentages for commercial reasons.

Affco exports meat to about 70 countries. The top three export markets in order are Britain and Europe (a combined market because of the combined quota), the United States and China.

The company is continually looking to capitalise on new markets and opportunities for the future. "China is growing for us, like it is for any commodity. The growth in China will see it at least equal USA [as a market for Affco] in a short space of time."

All Affco meat is processed to export standards, including meat for New Zealand consumers.

Formerly a listed company, Affco is now owned by New Zealand's Talley family. It turns over more than $1 billion a year and has seven meat-processing plants - five in the North Island and two in the South.

Waikato Times