Australia could send fresh milk to China by boat

Australia could export fresh milk to Asia by boat and thereby double annual milk production, a Dutch logistics and engineering company says.

As the Australian reports, Diederik Brasser, managing director of Trilobes and its sister company Milkways said the technology already exists to export large quantities of perishable produce, like milk, by sea.

And he claimed that exporting fresh milk to China could see the local industry double output from the current level of nine billion litres a year to more than 20 billion litres.

Trilobes’ technology already makes it possible to safely ship fruit juice from Central and South America to Europe. Brasser said it can do this using modular temperature-controlled refrigerated containers as well as ultra-clean systems of terminal storage and transfer.

Currently most of Australia’s milk exports to Asia are in the form of milk powder. Only a small amount of fresh milk is exported to Asia using air freight.

However, the value of fresh milk far outstrips milk powder. Chinese demand for fresh milk is booming within the expanding middle class and the product sells for $8-$10 a litre.

“Australia has a comparative advantage over New Zealand to supply this fresh milk demand by ship because it is closer to major Asian and Middle East markets, and we know we can keep the milk fresh that long,” Brasser told the Australian.

Currently, New Zealand exports a lot more milk than Australia. Its exports accounts for almost a third of global trade, while Australia’s make up just 5 per cent.

Brasser is looking for Australian partners to help develop this potential fresh milk export market.

Image: fdecomite via photopincc