China dairy market booming, New Zealand set to cash in

NEW ZEALAND - China's dairy market has soared to 25 million tonnes a year, and New Zealand is its biggest supplier of imported product, says a major agricultural banker.
calendar icon 2 November 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

Demand for dairy products has more than doubled in the past five years, and though domestic milk production is growing rapidly, China is only able to produce 24 million tonnes a year (liquid milk equivalents) of dairy products per year, Rabobank said in a report it released today on the market.

"New Zealand is the single largest import source, providing half of total import value, nearly US$460 million ($692 million) in 2005," the bank said. New Zealand, Australia, the USA and France together provided 80 per cent of the imports.

But the key factor in the Chinese market is that the 25 million tonnes consumed in 2004-2005 is still only the equivalent of less than 20kg of liquid milk equivalent per person.

Separately, Chinese statistics indicate annual consumption of dairy products there will reach 30kg a person by 2015.

"There is little doubt that the Chinese market offers a good future for New Zealand dairy products," Rabobank said.

China's tariff on dairy products had decreased dramatically. "Also, China is in free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation with New Zealand and Australia with the expectation of more favourable treatment in the near future."


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