Australian live cattle exports will lift with NZ banning live trade, industry analyst

The Australian livestock export industry has distanced itself from the New Zealand trade, which has been banned from exporting livestock by sea. 

The Australian Government says it has no plans to ban livestock exports and New Zealand’s move is expected to help Australian farmers win lucrative trade deals with China, which had been spending big on dairy breeding heifers.

Chief executive of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council Mark Harvey-Sutton said the Council was sympathetic to its Kiwi colleagues and disappointed by the ban.

“We have full confidence in the standards the Australian industry upholds and expect the impacts of the New Zealand decision to have limited bearing on the strength of the Australian industry and its continuing growth,” he said.

New Zealand’s Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced the decision this morning, to phase out live exports of animals by sea.

The decision followed an inquiry into the sinking of a ship carrying 43 crew and thousands of New Zealand cattle off the coast of Japan last year.

According to the Federated Farmers of New Zealand, the live export trade was worth $200 million to Kiwi farmers last year, with 110,000 animals exported live. 

The lobby group said it saw no reason for the ban.

“We’re a little bit surprised really that it’s come out now, and that they’ve decided to go down this route,” NZFF spokesman Wayne Langford told the ABC.

New Zealand had already stopped the export of livestock for slaughter in 2008, but the export of breeding cattle had been increasing, with strong demand from China. 

Dairy industry analyst Emma Higgins said the decision to ban exports from New Zealand left Australian dairy producers “in the box seat” to take up the trade of dairy heifers into Asia.

“The good news for Australian exporters and dairy producers is that there’s an opportunity there for Australian farmers to fill the gap that New Zealand will leave,” Ms Higgins said. 

In a statement, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said “this is a matter for the New Zealand Government and Australia has no plans to suspend or ban live animal exports”.

“The Federal Government is confident in our standards, regulations and laws to ensure high standards of animal welfare for livestock exports,” the statement read. 

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals used the NZ announcement to renew calls for an end to the Australian live export trade.

“New Zealand has made the right decision, and with it, is cementing its international reputation as a world leader in high quality, ethical agricultural products while Australia is left behind yet again,” RSPCA spokesman Jed Goodfellow said.

Dr Goodfellow said Australia exported more than 170,000 breeding cattle last year, primarily to China and Pakistan.

“And there are no laws to protect them once they are there,” he said.

The Opposition’s agriculture spokeswoman Julie Collins was approached for comment.

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Trade and product shortages amid HomeBuilder Grant-induced building boom ‘a perfect storm’, industry experts say

Australia’s building sector is bearing the brunt of a “perfect storm” of events, with near-record new home approvals putting intense pressure on supply chains and sparking construction delays.

December 2020 has seen 13,527 new homes approved, the Housing Industry Australia (HIA) said, which is a 91.8 per cent jump on the previous month and the second strongest pace of growth in 20 years of records.

In Queensland, the number of new house approvals in the first nine months of this financial year has almost surpassed the state’s total for the previous year.

Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) figures have shown the 2019-2020 financial year saw 25,695 new house approvals, with the 2020-2021 financial year already at 25,530.

Industry experts put the rapid increase down to a combination of the federal government’s HomeBuilder Grants, a spike in interstate migration, and low interest rates.

While some builders are the busiest they have ever been, they are struggling to keep up with the mammoth demand, and new home builders are being forced to wait months due to construction delays.

At Deebing Heights near Ipswich, west of Brisbane, Caite Cooper is building her first home.

She is one of 93,406 Australians making the most of the HomeBuilder grants.

Ms Cooper was expecting to see the concrete slab in the ground by February, with a mid-year move-in date, but the site is still a block of dirt.

“We’ve been told the slab is delayed due to trade shortages, our frame is going to be delayed due to shortage of timber, and our roof will also have a delay because of the recent storm events,” she said.

“We were expecting July, August and now we’re possibly looking at December.

Ms Cooper said she understood the shortages and pressure on builders at the moment and was willing to be patient, but was getting frustrated.

“It’s just for us personally — when we are we going to get into our dream home?” she said. 

Jason Till is the director of a west Brisbane building company.

He said the past few months have been the company’s busiest on record, but selling a record number of homes, while trying to work through product and trade shortages was increasingly difficult.

“It’s all well and good to have the amount of work we have but the next set of challenges is building the house,” he said.

“We’re finding the jobs are stalling at certain stages, so at the moment there’s actually a big problem with timber supply.

“We’re getting a slab down, but the concrete slab is just sitting there for a number of weeks, sometimes months, before we can even get the frame to site and get the carpenters there to build it.”

Master Builders Queensland (MBQ) deputy chief executive officer Paul Bidwell said the current situation was not quite a building boom, but rather a huge spike in demand over a condensed time period.

“There’s a lot of conditions that are impacting on the builders now that are beyond their control that they could never have foreseen that this would happen.”

Mr Bidwell said roofers, particularly in the south-east, were hard to come by as they are flat-out repairing roofs after a severe hail storm west of Brisbane in October 2020.

“You cannot get a roofing contractor for love nor money,” he said.

“The insurance builders have hundreds and hundreds of roofs to fix and there is actually a competition going on between the insurance builders and the builders who have signed all those contracts towards the end of last year for HomeBuilder.”

The application deadline for the federal government’s HomeBuilder Grant ends on April 14.

Mr Till said he was expecting it to “plateau out into some sort of normality”.

“But there will be congestion in construction — in my opinion — for about 12 months,” Mr Till said.

Mr Bidwell said he was concerned the fallout of the current situation may lead to some builders going broke.

“Builders are unable to deliver the contracts because they can’t, say, get the timber products … the roofing materials, and there will be financial consequences,” Mr Bidwell said.

Mr Bidwell is urging people to be patient in the meantime.

“Consumers have a right to expect that the timeframes will be met, and the price will be met, but because of all the circumstances at play, it’s proving very, very difficult,” he said.

“We just need to get through these next few months hopefully without too much pain for builders and their clients.”

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Record breaker Cameron Smith would trade it all in for a green jacket as he returns to Augusta National as top Australian hope

There was a sense of calm about Smith all week, as he scrambled his way to a record not even Woods, Nicklaus or Player could achieve. Yet it still wasn’t enough to win as Johnson broke plenty of scoring records himself.

“We were doing our own thing and the game felt good leading up to that week as well, which is a massive positive when you’re going to somewhere you love and you know you can play well at,” Smith said. “It was just very calm.

Dustin Johnson is presented the green jacket by Tiger Woods.Credit:AP

“But it’s going to be nice having some people out there making some noise this week. That place is so cool when there’s people there, the roars that go through the whole course [are amazing]. It will be good to have that atmosphere back, which was definitely lacking last year.”

Smith will join 2013 Masters hero Adam Scott, Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones in the Masters field. For the first time, he’s the bookmakers’ pick to be the top Australian at a course where he’s never missed the cut in four attempts and has two top-five finishes.


For someone who prefers to sidestep the limelight, he will be firmly in it this week after being paired with the rejuvenated Jordan Spieth and major winner Collin Morikawa for the first two rounds.

Smith, 27, hasn’t seen his coach Grant Field in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began, resorting to weekly FaceTime catch-ups to iron out any deficiencies in his game.

He’s the first to admit the chances of anyone matching his record this week are remote, the drier conditions in the Masters’ traditional April timeslot set to make scoring tough again.

Maybe the only difference since Smith’s last trip to Augusta is that he’s fishing a lot more now than last year. And there’s also the wild mullet he’s refused to cut since growing it during lockdown, which he doesn’t dare touch now.

“A lot of the rugby league guys had it and then after a while I thought, ‘stuff it, I’m just going to keep it’,” Smith said.

“My girlfriend [Jordan Ontiveros] hates it. My mum is coming around and my nan thinks it’s the best thing ever. I’m afraid I’m going to wake up one night and [Jordan’s] going to be chopping it off.”

As for dad, he doesn’t care what hairstyle his son’s rocking as he’s a chance of righting Norman’s wrongs from all those years ago. And he won’t need to turn up for work if he does.


Cameron Smith

  • World ranking: 30
  • Best Masters finish: T2 (2020)
  • First round pairing: Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa (4am Friday morning AEST)

Adam Scott

  • World ranking: 32
  • Best Masters finish: Won (2013)
  • First round pairing: Bryson DeChambeau, Max Homa (3.36am Friday morning AEST)

Marc Leishman

  • World ranking: 39
  • Best Masters finish: T4 (2013)
  • First round pairing: Victor Perez, Jason Kokrak (2.12am Friday morning AEST)

Jason Day

  • World ranking: 52
  • Best Masters finish: T2 (2011)
  • First round pairing: Matthew Wolff, Cameron Champ (11.36pm Thursday night AEST)

Matt Jones

  • World ranking: 55
  • Best Masters finish: Cut (2014)
  • First round pairing: Sandy Lyle, Dylan Frittelli (10.12pm Thursday night AEST)

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Stocks To Watch In Trade Today (March 31, 2021): TCS, IRB Infra, IDFC First Bank

IRB Infrastructure Developers has bagged two highway projects in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh

The domestic stock markets are likely to open on a cautious note, after racing ahead by more than 2 per cent in the previous session, going by early indications from SGX Nifty futures trading. Trends on SGX Nifty suggest a flat opening for the index in India, with a 2-points loss. At 7:30 am, the Nifty futures were trading at 14,926, lower by two points, on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

On Tuesday, the BSE Sensex ended the day at 50,136.58, higher by 1128.08 points or 2.30 per cent and the NSE Nifty closed at 14,845.10, up 337.80 points or 2.33 per cent.

Stocks to watch in trade in today’s session


TCS has renewed its strategic partnership with UK’s Nationwide Building Society to help strengthen the latter’s enterprise agility and operational resilience.

IRB Infrastructure Developers

IRB Infrastructure Developers has bagged two highway projects in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, taking the total projects bagged in the current fiscal to Rs 5,004 crore.

IDFC First Bank

IDFC First Bank has fixed the floor price for its Rs 3,000 crore qualified institutional placement issue at Rs 60.34.

Ultratech Cement

Ultratech Cement has repaid long-term loans worth Rs 5,000 crore from the free cash flows generated by the company in the last few quarters

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NRL 2021 Round 4 Teams: KFC SuperCoach trade talk

It’s Team List Tuesday (again) and for many of us that means we are hammering the trade/reverse button in a bid to dump our bums and find some guns.

If you missed it you can read all of Wacko’s Early Mail here.

Fire in your questions in the Slido window below, give your thoughts on those posted by your fellow SuperCoaches and let’s talk trades until teams drop at 4pm (AEDT)!

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How Australia and China’s trade spat is impacting this family wine business

Andrew Calabria is busy crushing 20,000 tonnes of fruit at the family’s Riverina winery in New South Wales. This year delivered a bumper crop and after many years in drought, the family hoped to see their fortunes rise.

“I thought we would have been a successful vintage with yields and income up for those wines,” the 36-year-old said.

But instead, the family is among the many trying to find new markets for their red wine varieties.

On Friday night, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced it will impose anti-dumping measures of up to 218.4 per cent on some Australian wine imports from 28 March for five years.

Importers bringing in wines related to the anti-dumping activities ruled by China will need to pay tax to China’s customs authority, according to a ministry statement.

Beijing has launched trade strikes against a range of Australian products including coal, barley, beef, lobster and timber, with diplomatic relations in the doldrums.

Andrew Calabria supervising the wine crush.


“It’s been such a harsh couple of weeks going into vintage knowing that the wine would stop flowing into the China market,” said Mr Calabria, who is a third-generation wine producer and the president of the Riverina Winemakers Association.

The Calabria family, which originates from Italy, has made wine in the town of Griffith for 76 years. In recent years, the family had built extensive business relationships in China but the new rules mean they’ll take a 10 per cent hit to their wine revenue this year.

About 1,500 smaller operators who rely purely on China exports may be wiped out, according to the national association of winegrape and wine producers, Australian Grape and Wine.

“Some will go broke,” its chief executive Tony Battaglene said. “Those people who invested and relied entirely on China exports will really struggle.”

Australian Grape and Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene.

Australian Grape and Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene.


Australia exported 729 million litres of wine in 2019-20, valued at $2.8 billion.

The top destination market was mainland China, accounting for 39 per cent of the exports by value.

“We’ve never been as exposed to a market as China, and we’ve never had such a high-value product – and it’s exclusively red wine,” Mr Battaglene said.

Mr Calabria agrees.

“It hurts. The Chinese market has been so important for our winery as a family, also for our region and the whole Australian wine industry.”

Bill Calabria at the family winery.

Bill Calabria at the family winery.


According to Wine Australia, 2,361 wineries and 6,251 grapegrowers employ 163,790 full and part-time workers across 65 winegrowing regions, contributing over $45 billion annually to the Australian economy.

The industry now faces a $1.2 billion revenue hit.

China’s latest anti-dumping measures follow provisional tariffs imposed in November 2020 on Australian wine in containers of two litres or less which are effective until the end of March 2021.

“It’s a cracker of a year, isn’t it?” Mr Battaglene said.

It is the latest challenge facing the Calabria family, one of Australia’s oldest wine producers, after it survived deep financial recessions, droughts and even a world war.

“The industry is resilient, and we’ve gone through many difficult times,” Mr Calabria said. “But this will be tough, no doubt about it.”  

Calabria Family Wines founders Francesco and Elisabetta.

Calabria Family Wines founders Francesco and Elisabetta.


Andrew’s grandfather Francesco Calabria arrived in Australia in 1929, following his great-grandfather Domenico who had migrated from Southern Italy.

“It was a matter of survival. There wasn’t enough food or income to support a growing family. So my great-grandfather boarded a ship in 1927 and my grandfather joined him two years later.”

Settling in Griffith, they worked hard to buy a small piece of land and originally farmed olives. Their wine making began in earnest in 1945 and their fortunes rose as post-war Australians gradually embraced table wine.

“My grandfather Francesco’s homemade wine started to find commercial success with the influx of Europeans who migrated over to Australia and were looking for it,” Mr Calabria said. 

The Calabria family still makes traditional tomato sauce.

The Calabria family still makes traditional tomato sauce.


The family still celebrates its Italian heritage in many aspects of the wine business.

“We still make wine in a very traditional way in open concrete fermenters, like my grandfather did,” Mr Calabria said. 

They also still make their own traditional tomato sauce.

“Customers can walk through the door and can see my mother and my grandmother Elisabetta – who’s 99 years of age – making passata out the back.” 

Mr Calabria is determined to fight on and find new markets to help the business prosper.

“We know the sacrifices that our great-grandfather and grandfather made to build this business, and more importantly, build a life.”

Mr Battaglene says while the Calabrias run a well-established winery, many of the smaller producers will suffer.

Many smaller wine producers exporting to China are expected to struggle.

Many smaller wine producers exporting to China are expected to struggle.


“Those who purely export to China or at least export 80 per cent [to China], they’re really going to struggle. A large number will either have to find new outlets rapidly or exit the industry.”

Many like the Calabrias are already seeking new export markets.

“One key market will be India, where the population is significant, and we could probably put more of our resources into building it as a go-to market as we did with China 15 or 16 years ago,” Mr Calabria said. 

“But we are living in a pandemic, and [due to international border closures] we cannot go over to share and taste our wines with distributors, importers and customers in India. 

“So the pandemic has really compounded the impact of the China tariffs. It’s going to be really, really hard to find these markets.”

Andrew Calabria is urging Australia's wine producers to stand united.

Andrew Calabria is urging Australia’s wine producers to stand united.



Australian Grape and Wine is working closely with the federal government which has set aside $72 million for agribusiness, partly to help winemakers find new export markets. But a surplus of 300,000 tonnes of grapes is forecast this year and fierce discounting is expected.

“Prices will definitely be affected unless we can really build new markets quickly, and the reality is that can’t happen. You just cannot build a market the size of China in a year,” Mr Battaglene said. 

“It does hurt, but I think what we need to do is just stay strong,” Mr Calabria said. 

“We have a rich history in wine. We have some of the oldest wines in the world grown in Australia, so I think our place within the world of wine is safe.”  

– With AAP.

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Australian gin Four Pillars in Victoria voted world’s best brings out Spice Trade Gin with chilli

An Australian gin distillery that has been crowned the world’s best two years running has brought out a very unique new product.

In November, Four Pillars, based in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, was crowned the world’s best for the second year running at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London.

After being forced to “pivot” into creating hand sanitiser during the harsh COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria, Four Pillars have now brought out a new gin that is not for the faint-heated.

Over summer, Four Pillars created Spice Trade Gin, which has been described by the creator as a “literal spice bazaar in a bottle”.

One of the main ingredients is chilli.

“Firstly, it is unmistakably gin. There is a huge weight of juniper which we needed because the power of the botanicals needed a solid canvas,” Four Pillars Co-founder Cameron McKenzie said.

“Then you get powerful aromas of finger lime, chilli, cardamom and turmeric sourced from the western mountains (ghats) and coast of India.”

The gin was created with Stranger and Sons, who described the product as their “strangest collaboration yet”.

The gin goes on sale at bottle shops and online from March 25 and those who order early will get a bonus Gin Botanical Curry Powder.

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NRL 2021 Round 3 Teams: KFC SuperCoach trade talk

It’s Team List Tuesday (again) and for many of us that means we are hammering the trade/reverse button in a bid to dump our bums and find some guns.

Fire in your questions in the Slido window below (not the comments section as we have been using previously), give your thoughts on those posted by your fellow SuperCoaches and let’s talk trades until teams drop at 4pm (AEDT)!

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The US has ‘got our back’ on Chinese diplomatic disputes, says Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan

Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan says Australians should be comforted that the United States has “got our back” in the deteriorating relationship between Canberra and Beijing.

Top Chinese and American officials publicly clashed during the first face-to-face meeting between the rivals since US President Joe Biden took office.

During a tense exchange caught on camera, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken rebuked China for using “economic coercion” against American allies.

Speaking to reporters in Canberra, Mr Tehan expressed his gratitude to the Biden administration and said Australia wanted to resolve trade disputes with China.

“I think all Australians should be reassured by the fact that the Americans have come out and said that they’ve got our back, and they won’t leave us alone on the playing field,” Mr Tehan told reporters in Canberra.

“I thank the US government for their support.”

China has imposed billions worth of bans and tariffs on Australian products including barley, wine, and coal over the last year, following the federal government’s calls for an investigation into the COVID-19 virus.

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The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says discussions with his Chinese counterpart was wide-ranging, and parties were at odds on some issues while their interests intersect in others.

Mr Biden’s Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell told the Sydney Morning Herald last week that the US would not “leave Australia alone on the field” and is not prepared to improve its own bilateral relations with China “while a close and dear ally is being subjected to a form of economic coercion”.

For months, calls and letters by federal government ministers to their Chinese counterparts have gone unanswered.

Mr Tehan, who took over the trade portfolio from senator Simon Birmingham in December last year, said his requests to discuss the deteriorating relationship have been ignored.

“I’ve written to my counterpart, I did that in January, set out very clearly the constructive ways that we can work together,” he said.

“We’ve said all along that we want to have very constructive relations with China, the complementarity between our two economies is strong, people to people are links are strong.”

Last week, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Australia’s “wrong words and actions on a series of issues related to China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests” were the “root cause” of the waning bilateral relationship.

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WA to remove trade commissioners

‘WA must reduce our economic over-dependency on iron-ore and China. Diversification into new markets is critical.’

This is the mantra so often sprouted by our political leaders in the past 15 months, and correctly supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia here in Perth.

Wise words, yet under the guise of a public service restructuring of the WA overseas trade offices, the state government will soon remove their trade commissioners currently based in Indonesia, South Korea and India, leaving only locally engaged staff to represent the economic diversification that our state seeks.

This will also be the first time in 27 years that WA has not been represented by a senior trade official in Indonesia, effectively diminishing WA’s presence in Indonesia at a time when our giant neighbour is still predicted to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2050. The timing of the downgrading of the Indonesian office also comes as WA and East Java – a province of 45 million people – ‘celebrate’ their 30th anniversary by forfeiting much of the political capital built up over many years of close friendship.

The new WA government trade & investment structure has seen the appointment of four new commissioners including a Commissioner-ASEAN who will transfer from the Lands Department. The other roles will include a commissioner to manage a combined UAE and India, another commissioner to manage South Korea and Japan, and a commissioner to manage China.

The change will see a significant reduction in dedicated senior commissioners in a number of key strategic markets including Indonesia where the ASEAN commissioner will manage the huge Indonesian market from the WA Perth office until being relocated to the WA government’s office – in Singapore where according to one leading business person, ‘it is about as complicated as doing new business in Melbourne.’

From personal experience, trying to manage a complex market such as Indonesia, as proposed, from another country such as Singapore would be near-impossible. Under the plan, the various ‘regional’ commissioners will be supported by locally engaged staff in South Korea, Mumbai & Jakarta, all with little or no apparent standing in WA business circles or status in their respective business and political communities, making them ineffective in assisting business from WA to enter these huge and often complex markets.

The government mega-department called Jobs, Tourism, Science & Innovation, or JTSI, oversees the international activities including the trade offices. The entire process and structure of international trade and investment has, over the past few years, been lost within this huge bureaucracy at a time when WA needs to be increasing its influence in Asia, not decrease our standing, and also insulting our hosts.

If the new minister for Asian engagement – WA is the only state to have such a role within the respective state governments – wants to progress our state’s economic diversification and expansion, then a good starting point is not to ‘disengage’ from the important role of supporting WA businesses seeking to enter what can highly profitable yet complex markets.

Under this new structure, business will simply turn away from seeking the highly valuable support from our specialist trade commissioners working in-country, with many smaller enterprises seeking to find their own way forward in Asia, making the goal of a successful first entry into the overseas exports markets even more challenging, and our government agencies sidelined.

Ross B. Taylor AM is the president of the Perth-based Indonesia Institute Inc, a former national vice-president of the Australia-Indonesia Business Council, and also a former senior executive based in Singapore with interests throughout ASEAN.

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