Fonterra has said that has set a new 12-month export record, sending 2.1 million metric tonnes of product to international markets for the first time in its nine-year history.
The exports were 60,000 metric tonnes higher than those achieved in 2008/09 and were a factor in New Zealand’s six month run of consecutive trade surpluses, the company said. Milk powder, butter and cheese all ranked among the leading exports which saw the June trade surplus hit NZ$276m (US$193m) and the year-to-June surplus reach $639m.
Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier, said consistent demand across the year, particularly from markets in Asia, helped Fonterra to cross the 2m tonne milestone and end the financial year with tight inventories.
“The global recovery has been led by Asia, with demand from China particularly good. Every tonne that’s left New Zealand has helped turn the tide with the balance of payment deficit. It’s a good feeling to be helping hold the worst of the global recession’s impacts on New Zealand’s economy at bay one container at a time,” Ferrier said.
The record represents 140,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent containers) shipped from New Zealand ports from August 2009 to July 2010. On average, Fonterra shipped 380 TEUs a day, with highs of 500 TEUs a day in its peak export months.
“Dairying provides around a quarter of New Zealand’s exports and as economies like China and other parts of Asia move to higher living standards, the outlook remains very positive,” said Ferrier.
“While we continue to see price volatility, dairy remains the standout performer, not only in primary sector exports, but also in overall exports and our consistent performance is not only good for farmers but for the economy as a whole.”