Large dairy herd shipment to head to China

06:10, Feb 26 2013
LIVE CARGO: The largest shipment of diary cows to leave Timaru is set to embark next week.

What is thought to be the largest shipment of live dairy cows ever to leave Timaru will head to China next week when the livestock carrier Bader III arrives in port.

The shipment of 7200 cattle is almost twice the size of previous exports from Timaru.

The shipment equated to about nine South Canterbury dairy herds, with the average South Canterbury dairy herd consisting of about 749 cows.

The ship is now at Fremantle, Australia and will arrive at Timaru late next week.

Paul Brown, who heads specialist dairy livestock company South Island Dairy Farmers, understood the cattle were rising two-year-old heifers.

They would have been purchased in late spring last year.


It was also possible many of the cattle were bought over a year ago and held on quarantine farms waiting for shipment, he said.

"They would have a domestic value of around $1700-$1850," Mr Brown said.

That would mean this latest shipment was worth $12.24 million to $13.32m.

South Canterbury livestock company Peter Walsh and Associates helped procure the cattle for Australian company Landmark Global Exports, which brokered the sale to the buyer in China.

In 2011, Landmark exported an estimated 12,000 New Zealand dairy cattle to China.

Landmark agent Paul Tippet confirmed the shipment yesterday.

"The ship won't be in Timaru for another 10 to 12 days," Mr Tippet said.

He estimated the Bader III would be one of the biggest stock ships to dock at the port.

This latest shipment would fill it to near capacity, he said.

The cattle were now waiting for shipment on a quarantine block near Temuka.

The shipment is part of a growing trend of New Zealand cattle been sent to China as that country aims to build its dairy industry.

New Zealand dairy cattle are sought after by the Chinese because of the closeness of the market and New Zealand's reputation for breeding cattle that produce well in Chinese conditions.

New Zealand cattle were able to produce 20 litres more milk per day on a farm in China than locally bred cattle.

The Timaru Herald