Fonterra is eyeing growing UHT milk markets in Asia-Pacific

Fonterra is eyeing growing UHT milk markets in Asia-Pacific

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra plans to export UHT milk to Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam after boosting capacity at a processing plant in Auckland.

The company has spent NZ$8m (US$5.8m) on upgrading its site in Takanini, investment that will see the plant fill 600,000 more packs of UHT milk each week - a rise of 30% - and take its annual production to 90m litres.

"Global consumption of UHT is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.2% between now and 2012, making it one of the fastest growing dairy categories and a huge export opportunity for us," said Peter McClure, MD of Fonterra Brands New Zealand.

"With this increased production capacity, we will be able to expand our presence in our existing markets of China, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as start exporting in to new markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Limited domestic dairy supply in Asian countries, growing populations and education about dairy’s nutritional benefits are creating this demand."

Fonterra is also looking to add new products to its UHT range, including low-fat and vitamin-enriched milks, as well more cream products.

A week ago, Fonterra also announced the completion of an A$11.5m (US$10.7m) investment in expanding its cheese and dairy ingredients production in the Australian state of Tasmania.