Precious Australian Alpaca Cargo Jets into China

The Australian Alpaca industry has just completed the world's largest ever known export of finely fleeced alpaca breeding stock into China.
In an expertly executed trade of huge significance in the international alpaca world, a precious cargo of premium quality 525 breeding males and pregnant females landed in the Shanxi Province this week after a ten and a half hour flight from Melbourne airport on a chartered Singapore Airlines 747 Freighter Aircraft.

The impressive shipment, the largest to ever leave Australia, will form a breeding herd at Shanxi University where China is establishing an alpaca industry largely founded on the Australian bloodlines so widely sought around the world to improve the quality of many herds.

President of the Australian Alpaca Association, Michelle Malt says Australia's ability to put together such a large and successful export is an achievement with global impact.

"China is the largest textile producer in the world and they are establishing this new fibre venture at a time when demand for luxurious alpaca fleece and alpaca product has never been higher," Ms Malt said. "There is enormous potential for more trade."

"Australia's foundation contribution to the Chinese development herd is a huge boost to our industry and testament to the two decades we have been breeding an elite Australian alpaca with fibre traits at the top end of the world industry.

"Our breeding programmes have created such a depth of quality in our national herd that we are perfectly placed to continue to meet all future demands for premium alpaca genetics in China and other markets."


Precious Australian Alpaca Cargo Jets Into China


In a project managed by the specialist Wildflower Alpaca Exports, the China herd was carefully selected over many months from studs across Australia and Ms Malt says it represents some of the finest breeding work of Australian stud owners in recent years.

The alpacas travelled to China in more than 20 specially designed double-tiered livestock crates on a specially chartered 747-400 freighter with Wildflower exporter and alpaca breeder Steve Ridout and another alpaca expert at their side, in live freight arrangements reminiscent of those used with elite thoroughbred racehorses.

"The welcome in China was quite overwhelming," Mr Ridout said. "Our plane was met by a crowd of hundreds including media, dignitaries and Chinese officials."

"There was so much excitement on the arrival of what we believe is their largest ever alpaca import because China currently has so few alpaca and the people are completely captivated by them.

"The entire export herd is now well-settled in purpose built quarantine facilities and we were able to stay with them during the very successful settling period," Mr. Ridout said.

The China export follows this year's opening of trade with Turkey which chose to start its national herd with Australian bloodlines, and new trade opportunities with Korea following the recently announced protocols for alpaca export.

With this growth in the export market, Ms Malt says there has never been a better time to be involved in Australian Alpaca.

"These markets are exciting immediate business opportunities for Australian studs, and extend the traditional export markets we have long established with Europe, the UK and New Zealand for our premium bloodlines."