Chinese dairy imports hit by online retailer clampdown

Efforts to crack down on China’s cross-border online selling platforms has led to confusion in the trade of dairy products in recent weeks, according to the AHDB.

It says that on April 8, China placed an 11.9% tax on products sold through online channels destined for China.

However, authorities’ sparked further confusion by placing restrictions on products that previously were allowed to enter China.

Subsequently, the AHDB reports that this led to some products in no man’s land, with reportedly €13.9m worth of liquid milk left without an outlet last week.

UHT and some milk powder products are now permitted to be sold through online cross-border channels, having previously been halted when the clampdown was first announced almost two weeks ago.

Infant formula producers have a year to register their brands, otherwise these products will not be allowed to enter China.

According to the AHDB, with roughly a third of infant formula sales in China currently made through online channels, the tax increases on this trade will align imported infant formula prices with those for similar products sold directly in China.

Last year, Bord Bia reported that Irish specialised nutritional dairy powders showed further growth in exports, reflecting a jump of around 25% in volumes coupled with a rise in demand particularly from Asian markets.

The category now accounts for 35% of total dairy exports with trade estimated at €1.15 billion in 2015. Volumes exported to China jumped by almost 40%.