Australia, China driving surge in New Zealand honey exports

Updated 2017-03-03 13:50:35 Xinhua

Growing demand from Australia and China boosted the value of New Zealand honey exports by 35 percent in the year ending June 2016, said a government report Friday.

The report from the Ministry for Primary Industries said honey export volumes were "down slightly" to 8,831 tonnes, but revenue was up by 35 percent to 315 million NZ dollars (221.73 million U.S. dollars).

"Export volumes to Australia increased by 35 percent, making it the largest export destination in the year to 30 June 2016, closely followed by China," said the report.

The report showed that while export prices rose for New Zealand honey, world honey prices fell, said the honey industry body, Apiculture New Zealand.

The strong market demand for premium New Zealand honey, especially manuka honey, was driving a lot of the expansion, chief executive Karin Kos said in a statement.

In the same year, New Zealand produced a record honey crop of 19,885 tonnes.

Kos said the report outlined concerns over ongoing bee health, competition for apiary sites and maintaining the confidence of overseas consumers in the integrity of manuka honey.

"As with any industry experiencing significant growth, we are experiencing some growing pains, but we have a lot to look forward to, and we are committed to ensuring our growth is managed sustainably, and our honey bee colonies remain healthy," said Kos.

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