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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Infant formula imports may post 7% growth

By Shao Shijie (Shanghai Daily)

09:22, February 14, 2012

CHINA'S imports of whole-milk powder may grow 7 percent this year as demand will be mainly driven by the country's urbanization and consumer concerns about the quality and safety of domestic food production, Dairy Australia said in a report yesterday.

It added that demand for infant formula may also be boosted as more couples are expected to have babies in 2012, the Year of the Dragon, an auspicious Chinese zodiac.

Over the past two years, China has been increasing its dairy imports after a 2008 scandal in which six babies died and 300,000 were sickened by drinking baby formula that were found to contain the poisonous chemical melamine.

Early in 2011, China cracked down on domestic dairy makers to enhance food safety. About one-fifth of dairy makers, or 500 companies, had their business license canceled, accounting for nearly 15 percent of the total market share.

But imported dairy products, especially baby formula, are still preferred by parents in first-tier cities, benefiting such international brands as Mead Johnson, Dumex, Wyeth and Abbott.

China's dairy imports have rapidly increased over the past decade to over 1 million tons last year from 220,000 tons in 2001, Dairy Australia said.


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