Meat Industry Association Chair Nathan Guy, a seasoned industry expert, joined REX host Dom George to offer a deep analysis of China's dairy and red meat markets.
The discussion began with Guy's positive outlook on the dairy sector, influenced by China lifting its safeguard on skim milk powder and whole milk powder, where he even suggested potential growth in the industry.
"I'm reasonably positive we might get a bit of a tick-up with that coming off in the new year," he said.
On the red meat sector, Guy painted a realistic picture of the challenges and opportunities based on his recent trip to China with a meat industry delegation. He described China's economy as having slowed down but still quite substantial, with promising signs of revival.
Guy noted the challenges, including oversupply, fierce competition, and a slowing economy.
However, he also identified opportunities, particularly in the market for grass-fed meat. He believes in the necessity for market diversification
"there's something like 27 countries... that are now exporting into China."
Despite the struggles faced by farmers and meat companies, Guy remained cautiously optimistic about the future of the industry in China. He believed that while there is increased competition and a slower economy, there are still opportunities, especially in the grass-fed meat sector.
"We've got to tell our story better than we currently are," emphasising the need to communicate the unique benefits of their products.
Guy also underscored the importance of continuing to diversify export markets, but he acknowledged that China still offers a reasonable price point for the industry.
"We shouldn't forget that they take most of the carcass from sheep into China," he added, indicating the importance of China as a market for various meat products.
The conversation with Nathan Guy reveals both the challenges and opportunities present in these markets and emphasises the need for strategic planning and communication to navigate the evolving landscape.
Listen to the full chat between Nathan Guy and Dominic George above.