Dairy ton­nage hits record high

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Fon­terra broke its record for the high­est ex­port month with 246,000 tonnes of dairy prod­ucts loaded on ships dur­ing De­cem­ber, boost­ing New Zealand’s econ­omy by $1.3 bil­lion for the month.

In March 2011 Fon­terra shipped 229,000 tonnes of prod­uct, but con­tin­ued growth in global de­mand for dairy prod­ucts com­bined with record milk pro­duc­tion early in the dairy sea­son has led to an­other spike.

In De­cem­ber, Fon­terra closed the door on an ex­port con­tainer ev­ery 2.7 min­utes, amount­ing to 546 con­tain­ers a day.

Fon­terra’s ex­ports ac­count for more than a quar­ter of all New Zealand ex­ports.

Fon­terra trade and op­er­a­tions man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Gary Ro­mano said a good au­tumn and a mild win­ter cre­ated op­ti­mal grass-grow­ing con­di­tions ahead of the 2011-2012 dairy sea­son.

‘‘This helped cre­ate a wave of milk up about 10 per cent on a daily ba­sis dur­ing the peak flow in late Septem­ber through to Novem­ber,’’ he said.

‘‘While con­di­tions were good over­all, farm­ers did face ex­treme chal­lenges in­clud­ing a near na­tion­wide dump­ing of spring snow and flood­ing in some re­gions.’’

‘‘Our farm­ers have coped tremen­dously, not just with bad weather but also the record milk flow, which peaked at more than 80 mil­lion litres a day.

‘‘Our teams have gone the ex­tra mile to man­age the huge amount of milk this sea­son and get value out of ev­ery drop of milk.

‘‘From the mo­ment we col­lect the milk, process it, pack it, store it, ship it – our peo­ple have put in a huge ef­fort, they haven’t stopped.’’

De­mand for high qual­ity dairy prod­ucts is still look­ing strong, with South East Asia, China, the Mid­dle East and North Africa driv­ing the growth in ex­ports.

‘‘Dairy is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant in these mar­kets as peo­ple grow wealth­ier and want ac­cess to more nu­tri­tious foods,’’ Mr Ro­mano said.

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