Fonterra today welcomed the announcement by Trade Minister Tim Groser that New Zealand and Russia will enter a scoping phase towards a Free Trade Agreement.
Russia is the world’s largest market for imports of butter and cheese and a significant dairy export market for New Zealand. New Zealand dairy exports to Russia last year, mostly butter and cheese, were worth approximately $120 million.
New Zealand has the largest share of butter imported into Russia, last year supplying over 50% of Russia’s internationally imported butter.
“Russia has the potential to become an even more important market for the New Zealand dairy industry and for Fonterra,” said Kelvin Wickham, Fonterra Managing Director Global Trade. “Russia is considered to be in an economic recovery phase, with incomes and consumption forecast to grow in 2010 and 2011.”
“The New Zealand Government’s efforts have played an important role in reaching this stage and we look forward to the Government continuing to advance these discussions,” Mr Wickham said.