China’s dairy industry has reportedly made a “stunning recovery” following the melamine scandal last fall.   

Last month, sales of China-made milk were back up to 80 percent of the pre-scandal level, The Straits Times reported.

The government acted quickly to restore consumer confidence. Inspections were beefed up. And, approximately 60 people were arrested in connection with the scandal, with some trials already under way.  

For U.S. dairy farmers, it is important that China’s confidence in milk products be restored. China/Hong Kong is one of the largest export markets for U.S. dairy products. (In 2007, it was the fourth largest export market.)

Besides being the most populous nation on Earth, with a fast-growing economy, China’s leadership is encouraging more dairy consumption. In 2007, the government released a new set of nutritional guidelines that encourage citizens to consume 300 grams of dairy per day — nearly a five-fold increase over current consumption in the urban areas.

In 2006, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited a dairy farm in the SichuanProvince and proclaimed he had a dream to provide all Chinese, especially children, with approximately 18 ounces of milk per day. If his dream is realized, it will boost consumption by seven and one-half times the current amount. For more on that, click here.

To read the article in The Straits Timesclick here.