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China imports offer hope to NZ dairy farmers

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Desperate dairy farmers in New Zealand can now see a glimmer of hope. After being suffering from a plunge in prices in a world market flush with supply, things are finally improving as China is importing more.

New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s top producer of dairy exports, said its February exports into Chinese consumer import markets rose 14 percent year-on-year. Imports for the 12 months to February rose 6 percent, versus a 1 percent gain in the year to January.

The pick up in Chinese imports is being driven by a call on local stockpiles – a good sign for farmers in New Zealand, according to analysts. Around 85 percent of the farmers currently operate at a loss, with prices down more than 50% since early 2014 because a global surplus.