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Australian UHT milk exporters get China boost


Australian UHT milk producers are relieved their product will not be affected by China’s cross-border e-commerce tax changes.

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Freedom Foods and Murray Goulburn both say their UHT milk and adult milk powder products are on China’s revised “positive list”, which means they can be sold online in China’s free-trade zones without incurring tariffs.

Both companies had stopped trading their milk products in the wake of the new regulations, but said on Monday they plan to recommence trading with Chinese online retailers in coming days.

China introduced new e-commerce laws on April 8, imposing tariffs, import VAT and a consumption tax on retail goods bought online from overseas’ suppliers.

That sent shares in Australian companies exporting milk, baby formula and other products tumbling.

Murray Goulburn said UHT milk and adult milk powder were not initially on a list of exemptions known as the “positive list”, but Chinese regulators announced late Friday a revised list that included them.

“Cross border e-commerce trade in both UHT and adult milk powders was interrupted for the past week, however as previously stated this interruption does not have a material impact on MG’s business,” Murray Goulburn said in a statement.

Freedom Foods said the majority of the company’s UHT product sales were through major Chinese dairy companies and other branded distributors, with e-commerce trade complimenting its business.

At 1110 AEST, shares in Murray Goulburn were up 5.0 cents, or 2.36 per cent, at $2.17, while shares in Freedom Food jumped 10 cents, or 3.04 per cent, to $3.39.

Other Australian milk product players in China were still under pressure.

The A2 Milk Company was flat at $1.67, while baby formula maker Bellamy was down 10 cents, or 0.94 per cent, at $10.49.

Vitamin and infant formula maker Blackmores dropped $4.01, or 2.37 per cent, to $165.49.


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