Growing demand for dairy products in China is leading to a spike in the prices of imported dairy heifers.

Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council report that about 90,000 heifers have been exported in the past year, with some recently fetching near record prices of more than $2,000.

Those cattle numbers are on the rise, with 600,000 head of dairy cattle exported from Australia to 30 countries in the past ten years alone.

According to reports from Australia about a third of Australian dairy farmers are now breeding stock for export to China, with more demand coming from Malaysia, Vietnam, and Russia.

CEO of Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, Alison Penfold, says the market is strong and Australia has lots of incentive to supply China’s demand for more milk.

“The fact that’s it’s been a trade that’s been ongoing for some years is certainly providing good strong indicators to producers who need significant lead time to produce (export) cattle.”