Japanese dairy importers have expressed concerns about the stability of Australia’s dairy industry in recent trade information meetings, as the sale of Murray Goulburn and production levels continue to generate concern.
Dairy Australia commercial research and analysis manager Norman Repacholi has had several meetings with Japanese companies and said concerns regarding stability of supply for processed cheese were at the forefront for many.
‘‘These are highly optimised processes that are relying on Australian dairy as their core ingredient,’’ Mr Repacholi said.
‘‘Because they are so precise, the process can’t just be adjusted on the fly because it’s such a technical process ... Any time you need to change, it is a big problem.’’
In 2015-16 Australia exported 101300tonnes of Australian dairy product to Japan worth US$335.9million.
Dairy exports to Japan have increased 3.3 per cent in the past five years.
Saputo’s purchase of Murray-Goulburn was also a key conversation topic, with the $1.3billion sale to the Canadian processor raising questions about the impact on current supply contracts.
‘‘Any time there’s a change in ownership and there’s new players involved there’s some concern,’’ Mr Repacholi said.
‘‘Just about everyone is familiar with Saputo in Japan but there are the questions about what the transition means for supply relationships.
‘‘Everyone that operates in Japan has a lot of experience and (Saputo) appreciate the concerns that they have and are actively working to allay those concerns.’’