China lifts ban on Fonterra whey powders introduced after botulism scare
By Fiona Rotherham
Oct. 31 (BusinessDesk) - Chinese authorities have lifted a temporary ban on the importation of Fonterra Cooperative Group's whey powder and dairy base powder used in the manufacture of infant formula that has been in place since August last year in the wake of the dairy company's botulism scare.
At the time, Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said he was confident the suspension could be lifted within 48 hours. Fonterra is refusing further comment on the move which was announced by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
A ban by Russia imposed at the same time on the same products remains in place.
The temporary suspension accounted for a third of New Zealand’s dairy exports to China. Fonterra, is responsible for 90 percent of the country’s dairy exports to China.
The temporary ban didn’t impact whole milk powder and skim milk powder although at the time China also increased inspection and supervision of all New Zealand dairy products at the border. It also didn’t affect imports of infant milk formula that had already been blended.
The whey powder is used in a variety of products while the whey-based dairy base powder is sold to third-party manufacturers who turn it into infant formula.
Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund, which gives investors exposure to Fonterra's dividend stream, were unchanged at $6.29, and have gained 8.5 percent this year.