Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Milk Powder: Mail it In

According to the Economic Observer newspaper, Chinese residents desperate for safe milk powder after the melamine adulteration incident are importing foreign milk powder through the mail. The postal bureau in Suzhou reported that it processed 65 shipments amounting to over 750 kg. of milk powder during October 1-15.

Meanwhile, the Harbin Daily boasts (with no apologies or concerns) that Heilongjiang Province has been pumping out record-setting exports of milk powder. Heilongjiang Province exported 30,000 metric tons of milk powder during the first 9 months of 2008, a 40% increase from last year. That was 51.5% of the whole country's exports. Major markets for the stuff were Venezuela (joke's on you Comrade Chavez), Africa, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In other Chinese dairy news, third quarter financial reports for major dairy companies were grim. Sales were down and losses of several hundred million yuan were reported for major companies. The exception was Beijing Sanyuan whose milk did not test positive for melamine and still posted a profit. Industry-wide inventories accumulated last month and companies are trying to figure out how to dispose of the milk. In Guangzhou they have burned it. They tried dumping it in the river but that's not such a good idea. The commercial bureaus say that production of milk products has bounced back now although demand is still lagging.

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