Market Morsel: The all blanks

Livestock | 15th April 2021 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

The New Zealand government has announced a two year phase out of their live cattle export trade, which since late 2007 had consisted of mainly dairy breeding stock. The regulatory hurdles put in place in 2007 effectively phased out the NZ slaughter cattle trade.

In a few years time there will just be blanks where there used to be a live export cattle tally for New Zealand. However, when comparing their trade to Australia on an annual basis they were effectively a very small part of the international trade in live cattle.

Over the last decade New Zealand exported an average of 44,000 per year. The 2020 season was the largest volumes seen out of NZ since 2014. In 2020 nearly 110,000 head were shipped and if we remove that season from the longer term annual average the New Zealand annual average drops to 37,000 head.

In contrast, the Australian annual volumes have averaged over 1 million head during the last decade, reaching over 1.3 million head in both 2015 and 2019 as dry conditions saw Australian producers used the live export channel as an alternative de-stocking route.


  • Live export
  • Live cattle