The ban could disrupt world dairy markets, creating an opening for U.S. products.
China has suspended some New Zealand dairy products because of a report that three batches of whey protein concentrate-80 were contaminated with Clostridium Botulinum. The report surfaced over the weekend, with Russia reportedly then following suit with its own ban of New Zealand products.
"The Ministry of Public Industries has confirmed that China has not closed the market to New Zealand dairy products - and that China is being quite specific about the range of Fonterra products which it has temporarily suspended," says NZ Milk Products Managing Director Gary Romano. "Whole Milk Powder and Skim Milk Powder have not been suspended."
"We have been told that MPI is not aware of any additional market closures. It is, however, getting clarity on reports that Russia appears to have put a temporary ban on New Zealand dairy products."
"Fonterra and the New Zealand government have isolated the affected product, have taken steps to remove it from the supply chain, and have identified the cause of the problem to an unsanitary pipe that wasn’t correctly sterilized," says Alan Levitt, vice president of communications for the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
"There have been no reports of any illness linked to the consumption of the affected whey protein and there is no current information to suggest that U.S. food products are affected," he says. "U.S. dairy products are not involved."
It’s too early to tell what impact the ban will have on world dairy prices. But China is one of the major importers of dairy products and ingredients, and it likely will look elsewhere for dairy products in the interim. This could prove to be a boom for U.S. dairy products, at least in the short term until the product safety claims are sorted out.