A wet start to the 2017-2018 milk season in New Zealand has resulted in milk production being down, while exports of dairy produce have also fallen.

Although August is traditionally the lowest month in the calendar for dairy exports from New Zealand.

For August 2017 versus August 2016, the volume of whole milk powder (WMP) exports fell from 45,250t to 35,795t. This represents a 20.9% drop since August last year. The figures were revealed by market analysts Internal FC Stone.

WMP is New Zealand largest and most important dairy product. Despite the fall in WMP exports, China continued to be the largest single market for New Zealand’s WMP.

China imported 10,197t of WMP in August. This is almost one third of New Zealand’s total WMP production in August.

Skim milk powder (SMP) exports fell from 18,598t to 8,051t. This down 56% in a year.

However, exports of infant formula grew from 4,382t to 7,237t in a year. This up 65% in a year.

Australia and China were the largest recipients of infant formula. Of the 7,237t, Australia took 2,937 (41%) and China took in 2,027t (28%).

The cumulative figure for butter and fats is down from 40,842t to 20,140t.


Meanwhile, the heavy rain in New Zealand’s spring has resulted in production being down 2.5% in August, according to Fonterra.

On the North Island, collections were down 1.4% from 71.1m litres to 70.1m litres, while on the South Island collections were down 5.5% from 24.7m litres to 23.3m litres.

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