New Zealand exports to China last month were less than half the value of January 2014, leading a fall in the country’s total goods exports, the government statistics agency announced on Thursday [26 February 2015]. Total exports were down by 9.1 percent year on year to 3.7 billion NZ dollars ($2.79 billion) in January, according to Statistics New Zealand. Dairy milk powder, butter, and cheese exports drove the fall, down 30 percent, as international commodity prices fell…Full Article: The Global Times Feb 2015

Key Point

  • The primary reason for the fall in export values was low international milk powder prices. The low prices were enough to offset a net increase (by volume) of dairy exports to China.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2014, Fonterra (based in Auckland, North Island) announced plans to purchase a 20% stake (US$467 million) in Beingmate (based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province). Beingmate in return would hold a 51% stake in Fonterra’s Gippslands milk powder factory in Victoria, Australia (near Melbourne).
  • Chinese imports of milk can be divided between non-concentrated (e.g. fresh) and concentrated (e.g. condensed, powder, etc.). Overall, China imports far more concentrated milk than fresh milk. New Zealand is China’s top supplier of both types of milk thanks in part to Fonterra, the country’s largest company.

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