Tag Archives: china

CHINA – China To Import More US Soybeans – June 23, 2011

CHINA – Soybean imports are expected to rise by five per cent this year, increasing the attraction of the country to US soybean farmers.

The statement was made by Alan Kemper, president of the American Soybean Association, report official sources in China.

The increase in the soybean trade may help promote China-US relationships, indicating a way to balance bilateral trade, Chinese experts said.

Mr Kemper said: “China is the most important market for US soybeans, and the soybean trade will play a large role in improving the balance of China-US trade.”

China is the largest importer of US soybeans. It imported a quarter of the country’s domestic production last year, according to the association.

Zhang Monan, a researcher at the Economic Forecast Department of the State Information Center, said soybean trade between the two countries will help maintain a stable development in bilateral relations.

The US has heavily subsidised its agricultural sector so it is important for the country to ensure profit margins in the global food market, Mr Zhang said.

Given constraints over land and water resources, it is difficult for China to meet growing demand for agricultural products such as soybeans domestically. It can buy agricultural products with its bulky foreign reserves, she added.

If imports are to increase, it is not because of a decline in domestic production but because of growing demand, said Liu Denggao, vice-president of the China Soybean Industry Association.

Mr Liu said: “The size of the area where China’s soybeans are grown remains largely unchanged from last year.”

Even with the fresh demand in China’s market, the competition is growing fiercer in the international market, as imports from South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina have also increased in recent years.

To consolidate its position, the US soybean industry will invest more than $2 million this year in China’s market, Mr Kemper said.

The investment will finance programmes teaching Chinese farmers efficient ways of using soybeans to improve the production of swine, poultry, dairy and other agricultural sectors, according to the association.

Marc Curtis, chairman of the United Soybean Board, said: “These programmes have been carried out for the last 30 years since we arrived in China. We will continue our efforts to serve China’s market.”

China imported a historic 54.8 million tons of soybeans in 2010, compared with 15.2 million tons of domestic production, General Administration of Customs data showed. The country’s self-sufficiency rate currently stands at 22 per cent.

The imported soybeans are all genetically modified and mainly used as animal feed or for oil crushing.

Imports of soybeans to China declined by one per cent year-on-year to 4.56 million tons in May. China’s soybean imports during the first five months of this year remain largely the same compared with the same period last year.

Information TheCattleSite News Desk

CHINA – China Dairy Has Lowest Quality Standards – June 20, 2011

CHINA – China’s dairy industry has the lowest quality standards in the world and much of the blame is down to the large companies that dominate it and the rock-bottom prices they pay farmers for raw milk, industry experts told China Daily.

“Milk processors and farmers all know that the problems of low protein content and high bacteria counts in milk are easy to solve with money but they have instead reduced investment because of the low profit margins,” said Wang Dingmian, the former vice-chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Dairy Association.

Mr Dingmian told China Daily on Sunday that, if cows are fed enough, the protein content of the milk they produce would rise within a week. He said dairy farmers have instead reduced the amount of feed they give their animals because of the low price they get from the big dairy companies for the milk they produce.

The high bacteria count in milk is also caused by insufficient capital investment.

“The prolonged duration and high temperature during milk processing has caused the multiplication of bacteria in the milk,” he said.

China relaxed its national milk quality standards in 2010, increasing the maximum limit of bacteria acceptable in raw milk from 500,000 per milliliter to 2 million per milliliter and lowering the minimum requirement for protein content from 2.95 grams per 100 grams of milk to 2.80 grams.

Statistics show that international standards for protein content call for 3 grams per 100 grams of milk. The acceptable amount of bacteria in raw milk in Europe is 100,000 per milliliter.

“The revised standards for raw milk, normal-temperatured milk and pasteurized milk were drafted by two Chinese dairy giants – Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd and Yili Industrial Group,” Mr Dingmian said.

Food safety experts claimed the dairy giants helped ensure there were looser standards in place because some of their branch plants could not meet higher standards.

“It’s common that branches don’t keep up with the standards of the parent company,” said Sang Liwei, a food-safety lawyer and the China representative of the NGO Global Food Safety Forum.

In April, 251 children at Yuhe township primary school in Yulin, Shaanxi province, fell ill after drinking school milk manufactured by one of Mengniu’s local plants in the province. Test results released later said the milk met China’s national standards.

“This shows the national standards for milk quality are imperfect,” Mr Liwei said.

“A lot of bacteria in milk may mean microbiological problems occur more easily,” Mr Liwei said. “If companies handling the milk do not strictly follow procedures for the storage and transportation of the milk, there will be food safety incidents.”

Mr Dingmian suggested that a flexible policy be brought in under which high prices are paid to farmers for high-quality milk, so farmers are motivated to ensure their farms produce better quality raw milk.

Information TheCattleSite News Desk

CHINA – China’s Chief Vet Meets Fonterra CEO – June 16, 2011

CHINA – On 31 May 2011, Chief Veterinary Officer Yu Kangzhen met with New Zealand Fonterra Co-operative Group Global CEO Andrew Ferrier. They exchanged views on matters related to strengthening cooperation in the field of dairy industry.

Mr Kangzhen said he greatly appreciated the development of dairy cooperation between China and Fonterra, acknowledging the increase in NZ dairy exports to China.

Mr Kangzhen said that NZ could continue to help China in many ways:

  • Cooperation in supervision over quality and safety of fresh milk
  • Exchanges in breeding and improvement of dairy cows
  • Technical cooperation in quality and safety of fresh milk production
  • Demonstrations of large-scale dairy cow farming
  • Strengthening of dairy farmer training and technical skills

Mr Ferrier agreed with what Mr Kangzhen said, and noted that Fonterra would have closer cooperation and coordination with various authorities and regions through joint efforts for greater achievements.

Information TheCattleSite News Desk

CHINA – Supervision On Raw Milk Tightened – June 07, 2011

CHINA – The Ministry of Agriculture has called for the tightening of the control and assessment of raw milk.

According to the requirements of the Work on Quality and Safety of Dairy Products issued by the General Office of the State Council in September 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has taken measures to enhance the supervision on quality and safety of dairy products and made significant progress through special programmes on the basis of results from previous programmes.

The programmes for the regulation of raw milk have been expanded over four areas:

    1. All Milk stations involved in the collection of raw milk have, or will, be inspected in strict compliance with the Regulations on Supervision and Administration on Quality and Safety of Dairy Products.
    1. The quality and safety of raw milk has, and will, keep improving. According to the features of raw milk production and transportation, agricultural authorities have established a series of supervision systems, including special monitoring, surprise sampling inspection and sampling inspection by bodies from other places.
    1. Progress has been made in the development of standardised dairy cattle farming. 260 million yuan, from the state, has been allocated as special funds for subsidies on improved breeds to 9.02 million heads of dairy cattle in the country.
  1. Practical results have been achieved in terms of technical trainings for dairy farmers.

MOA will carry out the special programme on raw milk in accordance with the regulations in the next phase.

For more information please see www.english.agri.gov.cn

Information TheCattleSite News Desk

CHINA – Chinese middle-class helps Fonterra set new export record – 27th Apr 11

The world’s biggest dairy exporter, Fonterra, says demand from aspiring middle-class consumers in Asia – particularly China – has underpinned recorded the cooperative’s record level of monthly exports: 229,000 tonnes in March.

“The real driver for the export record is the ongoing strong demand from China, South East Asia and the Middle East,” said the company’s managing director of trade and operations, Gary Romano.

“In these regions, we are seeing the emergence of the middle-class with more discretionary income and a desire for more nutritious foods,” he said. “Dairy fits the bill”.

The record shipments were part of continued growth in global demand for high quality dairy products from New Zealand.

“Our supply chain team were effectively closing the door on an export container every 2.6 minutes,” Romano said. “That’s equivalent to 560 containers a day”.

“We expect the record month will inject around $1.2 billion into the New Zealand economy,” he said.

In August last year, Fonterra announced that it had set a new annual export record, sending 2.1 million tonnes of product to international markets for the first time in its nine-year history.

The export tonnages from August 2009 to July 2010 were 60,000 tonnes higher than in 2008-2009 and were a factor in New Zealand’s six month run of consecutive trade surpluses.

Milkpowder, butter and cheese all ranked among the leading exports which saw the June trade surplus hit $276 million and the year-to-June surplus in 2010 reach $639 million.

Those gains were also attributed to Asian demand, and Fonterra said at the time that it shipped an average 380 containers a day, with highs of 500 between the peak export months of November and April.

The final payout to farmers for this season’s milkflows will be announced in September, but directors have already said that farmers can expect a record payout in the season due to end next month.

The cooperative has indicated that a surplus of around $8/kg milksolids is likely to result in an average of $900,000 being available for each farmer: its current forecast range for the 2011 season is $7.90-$8.00kg milksolids (before retentions) to farmers, unchanged from the levels announced in late February.

Its 10,500 farmers are expected to each receive between $7.75 kg and $7.80/kg in cash from their milk payment, plus the cooperative’s dividend.

Fonterra’s previous record in 2008 was $7.90/kg (before retentions), the company said. That season, farmers received $7.66 kg in cash.

The 2011 forecast is based on a milk price of $7.50/kg and a distributable profit (surplus) range of $550-$690 million, equivalent to 40c-50c a share, from which Fonterra plans to pay a dividend of 25c-30c a share.

The bonanza payout will be in spite of a tough start to the dairying season with drought, floods and snow storms.

Information NZPA

NEW ZEALAND – Chinese Investment In NZ Dairy Just The Start – April 14, 2011

NEW ZEALAND – Federated Farmers believes the application by China’s Shanghai Pengxin Group Limited, though its locally owned subsidiary, Milk New Zealand Holding Limited, will be an acid test for revised Overseas Investment Office (OIO) rules.

“Federated Farmers preference was to have seen the 16 former CraFarms sold as individual farms when Natural Dairy’s bid hit the rocks of the Overseas Investment Office,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“One day someone will make a mini series out of what has become a saga. There have been so many false dawns with the former CraFarms that I hesitate to say this is the end.

“But this is strong evidence that the OIO revisions of late 2010 have materially changed the thrust of the application.

“The OIO revisions were in line with the Federation’s draft policy on foreign ownership. We effectively won the changes we wanted on overseas investment, so we now need to let the officials determine the application on the merits of those rules.

“Seemingly gone is the ‘think big’ approach of Natural Dairy. Pengxin Group’s $200 million investment is to buy the 16 farms and upgrade them over two years. Upgrade could well be a euphemism for returning the farms back to full production.

“If approved, Federated Farmers wishes to see Pengxin Group Limited/Milk New Zealand Holding Limited utilise sharemilkers on the 16 farms. This provides an opportunity for sharemilkers to build equity in an international environment while speeding these farms to full production.

“I do take heart from Pengxin Group’s statement that it will be supplying Fonterra Cooperative Group.

“If approved, Federated Farmers would further wish to see Pengxin Group Limited/Milk New Zealand Holding Limited form an export joint venture with one of our existing cooperatives – Fonterra, Westland or Tatua.

“Partnering with a local cooperative would help ‘Kiwi-ise’ Milk New Zealand Holding Limited, while building a partnership in China with Pengxin Group.

“This goes to the heart of realising value for New Zealand under the revised OIO rules,” Mr McKenzie concluded.

Information TheCattleSite News Desk

NEW ZEALAND – Natural Dairy Launches High-End Liquid Milk – April 04, 2011

NEW ZEALAND – Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings Limited, a new high-end dairy product manufacturer and supplier in China, held a brand promotion event at Celebrity City Hotel Chengdu in China to launch its new product, high-end liquid milk, to China.

The event featured Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An Insurance”) signing a contract which has insured the high quality of Natural Dairy’s products including liquid milk and milk powder aimed at inspiring the full confidence of consumers.

Natural Dairy has focused on the high-end segment in China since its establishment by providing reliable, safe and high quality products for domestic consumers, to fulfill its commitment to “Offering you the best milk in the world”. The origin of milk is the key to good quality. This new liquid milk product is based on imported milk from New Zealand, which is produced and packed under the strict requirements of the dairy industry in New Zealand to maintain the pure taste and nutrition that the Mother Nature intended.

In light of the scandal of the dairy industry in China, product safety of dairy products has become a major concern among the general public. To move out of the dark shadow cast by poor product quality in the past and deliver a measure of trust in Natural Dairy’s high-end dairy products, Natural Dairy and Ping An Insurance signed an agreement, whereby Ping An Insurance will provide complete quality assurance for liquid milk and milk powder products produced by Natural Dairy.

Mr Wu Neng Kun, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Natural Dairy, said: “Securing the complete quality assurance from Ping An Insurance for our products is intended to build consumer confidence in the dairy market. However, it goes beyond merely protecting consumers’ safety, to demonstrate our strong commitment to providing the market with quality products and implementing strict quality control procedures for ourselves.”

Mr Wu added: “Facing many established dairy brands in the nation, Natural Dairy, as a new name in the industry, remains confident about our development prospects. In recent years, China has made a great leap forward in economic development and the living standard of its people, creating huge potential for marketing dairy products here. In response to the popular demand for quality living, we target the high-end dairy product market. Leveraging our edge in milk sources and stringent quality control, we provide the high quality products that consumers want as well as fill a gap in the existing market.”

Natural Dairy is adopting an innovative sales model, with directly operated specialty stores as its main channel and large supermarkets as complementary channels. With this efficient distribution channel, the Company aims at implementing strict quality control over the entire process.

The Company will first qualify sales and marketing cooperative partners across the country to set up the specialty store network. Upon opening the main market channels, it will then embark on media promotional efforts through an advertising campaign and further bolster its brand image by enlisting internationally renowned model Ms Gaile Lai as its spokesperson. After these activities, the Company will launch a milk powder product series to enrich the product line of the specialty stores, stabilise market supply and provide further value-added services.

Mr Wu concluded: “The high-end dairy industry in China has a high entry barrier and promising prospects. To capture the immense opportunities in the industry, we plan to open 3,000 specialty stores in 24 provinces and cities across China to expand our distribution network to cover the whole country as well as to build a supply base of dairy products from New Zealand easily accessible to consumers in China. Adhering to our philosophy of “Offering you the best milk in the world”, we believe that Natural Dairy’s products will become a well known quality brand in domestic and international markets in the near future.”

Information TheCattleSite News Desk