THE FIRST shipment of fresh Australian milk, from Queensland and New South Wales, has hit shelves in Chinese supermarkets, after a deal was sealed to speed up quarantine processes.
Dairy producers across southern Queensland and north New South Wales, through Norco and Dairy Connect NSW, produced the milk, which was selling for up to $9 a litre in China.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the deal would see an extra 20 million litres of fresh milk exported to China over the next year.
The exports arrangements, sealed earlier this year, will expand Australia's dairy exports to China outside of the current main export, with the Asian giant Australia's second-largest market for long-life milk.
Mr Joyce said the potential retails prices of $7 to $9 a litre in China showed better returns for primary producers were possible through such deals.
The deal was sealed to cut down on quarantine assessment times to ensure fresh milk could make it to consumers faster.