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Fonterra reports jump in March dairy exports to China as lockdowns lift

29 May 2020

New Zealand’s dairy giant Fonterra says that China’s global dairy import volumes climbed 10.1 percent in March.

Reuters reports that the ramp up follow two consecutive months of declines. The spike in Fonterra’s imports has been attributed to China’s economic reopening after COVID-19-induced lockdowns.

The jump in China dairy imports, however, may not be sustained as inventory levels are rebuilt.

New Zealand also reported a 13.6 percent drop in dairy exports, dragged down by lower demand from Thailand, China and Saudi Arabia, according to global dairy data from Fonterra.

Fonterra's New Zealand milk collection for April fell 2.6 percent due to prolonged drought conditions.

Australia's milk production rose 7.1 percent in March, helped by favourable weather, data released by the company showed.

Dairy companies including Fonterra and its smaller peer Synlait Milk have cut the price they pay farmers for milk for the upcoming season as virus-driven restrictions hammer demand.

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