Pharmaceutical & Food
Fonterra latest dairy firm to cut milk powder cost
Last Updated: 2013-07-19 00:00 | Shanghai Daily
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New Zealand's Fonterra, the world's largest dairy company, became the latest milk powder maker to cut its product price following China's investigation into price-fixing by major infant formula makers.

Fonterra said it will reduce the price of its Anmum maternal milk powder by 9 percent starting from August 1.

It is the ninth milk powder maker to cut prices after the National Development and Reform, the country's top economic planner, started looking into alleged anti-monopoly violations by major domestic and overseas formula makers.

The price move will "better meet consumer needs in light of recent industry-wide price revisions," said Kelvin Wickham, Fonterra president for China and India.

"We are committed to providing high quality, premium imported products to Chinese consumers and we are also committed to being an integral part of and long-term partner to the Chinese dairy industry," Wickham said in a statement.

The company joins a list of firms, including Abbott Laboratories, Nestle, Danone, Royal FrieslandCampina and Mead Johnson Nutrition, to cut prices in order to show their willingness to cooperate with the Chinese government on price-fixing investigation.

These companies earlier this month unveiled plans for a 4 percent to 20 percent price cuts on their major products.

Officials from the price monitoring and anti-monopoly bureau at the NDRC have pointed out that imported baby formula prices have risen by at least 30 percent since 2008.

Fonterra disclosed earlier this month that it had been approached by the NDRC regarding its investigation into suspected anti-monopoly violations.

The company's move comes as a surprise as previous price cuts were mainly for infant formula while Fonterra's two products are meant for adult consumers, implying that the NDRC's probe may have now extended to cover a wider range of products, Reuters reported.

The price of Fonterra's other brand in China, Anlene, which mainly targets middle-aged consumers, will remain unchanged.

Fonterra is a major raw milk provider for some big domestic dairy companies like Mengniu Dairy Co and Yili Group, but has less presence in the consumer food sector.

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