Fonterra is reportedly considering increasing its investment in the US as it eyes a bigger slice of the world's third-largest dairy market.

Fonterra's US operations produce revenues of about US$2bn. The company runs a joint venture with Dairy Farmers of America, marketing dairy products in the country, and exports milk made by Dairy America, an association of seven US cooperatives. 

According to a Bloomberg report, Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier has said "the US has good growth prospects".

"The US is increasingly becoming a supplier to the world market, so we look at this as an opportunity to invest," Ferrier said at the Conference of Montreal on Wednesday (11 June). "If we want to be supplying customers around the world, we need a supply base in the US. It's definitely a focus for us."

The US market for fluid milk is the third-largest globally - behind India and the EU - and, according to US Department of Agriculture estimates, it could reach 27.5m tonnes this year. The country's exports of butter, cheese and milk powder may rise 7.7% percent to 417,000 tons this year.

In the US, Fonterra intends to continue making dairy ingredients, Ferrier said.

"We will be concentrating on speciality ingredients, whether it's through high-end milk proteins or cheese flavours and so on," he said. "These are the areas we look at. We are trying to add value to milk."