[27 July/NBR]

Signs of trouble for New Zealand in negotiating post-Brexit free-trade agreements with the UK and EU are emerging with proposals to split meat import quotas. The UK and EU have proposed a fifty-fifty split of the World Trade Organisation approved tariff free quota. The NZ Meat Association said it would effectively lock in quotas for the two markets and prevent the ability to adjust supplies. The annual quota allowed 228,245 tonnes of sheep and goat meat to be exported without a tariff. The quota hadn’t been filled for the past seven years due to demand from China. Annual exports to the EU were worth around $2 billion and the quota was a cushion if demand fell in other markets. MIA Chief Executive, Tim Ritchie, said markets were dynamic, domestic production and consumer demand continued to evolve, and it was important for market stability that New Zealand’s sheepmeat and beef exporters could factor that into their plans.