Fonterra shipped 36 per cent more dairy product in the last quarter of last season than in the same period in 2011, making for an all time record .
The world’s biggest dairy exporter said it exported 620,000 metric tonnes of product to more than 100 markets in the quarter.
Fonterra NZ milk products managing director Gary Romano said if all the containers shipped in the 2011-2012 season, which ended in June, were laid end-to-end they would stretch from the top of the Bombay Hills to Christchurch – about 1000kms.
«We traditionally ship just over 450,000 tonnes at this time of the year but we’ve had a lot more product to move, and this has meant some creative planning across the wider supply chain to manage and store the additional volumes,» Romano said.
«For the first time since Fonterra was formed (in 2001) we chartered our own break-bulk vessel to send product to the Middle East.»
Demand was usually up ahead of the month of Ramadan, but the demand spike was more than expected, he said.
There was not enough container space available so Fonterra had to charter its own ship, which took 7500 tonnes of product to Dubai and Saudi.