Livestock has been exported from New Zealand for breeding to a number of countries around the world but as the trade has developed and our relationship with China has become stronger, they are the predominant market we currently work with.
New Zealand and China are close trading partners. China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner and has been since 2017, with two-way trade (exports and imports of goods and services) exceeding NZ$33 billion.
The free trade agreement between China and New Zealand that was established in 2008 has created a unique competitive advantage. The free trade agreement is a success story for both countries. It has opened up significant trade and economic opportunities and has been a catalyst for closer cooperation across a number of areas.
As the nation has become increasingly urbanized with a rising income, it continues to grow and invest and their demand is for Australian, New Zealand and South American livestock, including dairy and beef cattle.
With more than half a billion people living in cities, they no longer have their own cattle and in many cases gardens. Putting pressure on a smaller group to supply enough food to feed everyone and the country to utilise importation of livestock to help establish their farms for increased food production.
China has a long history of livestock production and meat (such as pork, lamb, beef, and poultry) consumption, however, meat has not always been accessible and affordable for the common population.
Once a luxury, today meat is on the daily menu of many Chinese and they are becoming increasingly familiar with western lifestyles and food. There is a growing demand for fresh dairy products and it is predicted to continue to soar.
China is New Zealand's second-largest source of imports.