China looks west to secure supplies of milk powder

Published 24 March 15

China is world’s largest importer of milk powder. Despite efforts to increase domestic production, the strength of demand for milk powder within China means that import demand is expected to remain significant for a long time to come.

In an attempt to secure supplies in an increasingly volatile global market Chinese companies have been investing in dairy companies in Oceania for a number of years. However, with growth in milk production in both New Zealand and Australia predicted to slow, Chinese investors are increasingly looking further afield.

In Brittany, France, the Chinese company Synutra International is building a milk powder factory expected to be able to produce 100,000 tonnes of milk powder a year on completion at the end of this year. Elsewhere, China’s second largest dairy processor Yili is involved in a partnership with Dairy Farmers of America to build a facility in Kansas capable of producing 80,000 tonnes of milk powder annually.