Blog Article Header3

What Are The Causes Of The Current Ammunition Shortage And How Long Might It last?

15 November 2021

As hunters, we have known about the ammunition supply constraints for some time now. Stuff NZ has taken the time to investigate the issue that hunters are facing. See more here: Link To Article

Kiwi’s face the shortage at the retail end of a much larger, vertical supply chain issue. One that affects those purchasing either boxed ammunition and components for reloading.

All ammunition and its components are imported, with none being manufactured in New Zealand. This means we are more vulnerable to many variables. In the midst of Covid, costs of shipping and bare materials have sky rocketed.


Copper Price Increase: USD Per Ton



Lead Price Increase: USD Per Ton



Global Shipping Cost Increase: Thousand Dollar per 40-Foot Container

Chart: The Economist

Ammunition being heavy suffers more at the hands of shipping.

NZDA CEO Gwyn Thurlow explains to Carly Gooch how many factors contribute to the issue, not simply Covid.

“New Zealand is a long way from major markets, ammo goes to America and Europe first and they supply their own markets. There’s a massive ammo supply chain issue. It’s a vertical thing from raw materials to on-the-shelf, and it’s going to directly cause the prices of ammo to go out of control. The word is rationing. The ammo manufacturers are rationing, the wholesalers are rationing, and the gun shops are rationing, or they don’t have it on the shelves, and you have to do a secret handshake to get it from out the back.”

Further world events such as the election of President Joe Biden, saw Americans hoarding ammunition.

Some calibres are notably harder to get hold of than others, with many products stamped out of stock for months on end.

Photo Credit: Andy MacDonald/Stuff

Lance Halkett of Hunting and Fishing Nelson reported on the shortages they are facing within the Stuff Article. He indicates price hikes to come and notes astronomically long delays with time frames given by suppliers.

Photo Credit: Andy MacDonald/Stuff