Chinese demand for Australian baby formula has seemingly reached new heights with soldiers this week seen loading cartons of the powder onto a warship.
Three vessels arrived in Sydney on Monday and departed Friday, with Chinese soldiers seen dressed in camouflage unloading boxes from a van.
Masses of A2 Platinum and Aptamil formula were seen being carted by soldiers in a photo taken by The Australian on Thursday.
Following its berth in Sydney’s Garden Island Naval Base, Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured the public the visit came as no surprise to the government.
Overseas demand for the Australian-made product has skyrocketed since several babies died from a contaminated batch made in China.
In 2008, six Chinese children were killed after consuming locally made formula which contained a chemical compound called melamine.
Australian supermarkets introduced maximum limits for customers due to a surge in international demand, with tins being sold for up to six-times their price overseas.
Coles and Woolworths have enforced a strict limit of two units of baby formula per customer, however often shoppers will come in teams to avoid being busted.
Chinese “daigou” shoppers were often filmed by frustrated locals bulk-buying formula to then sell online at inflated prices to people in their home country.
Daigou shoppers, who operate in a new-form of cross-border exporting to purchase products offshore to sell back to China, can reportedly make more than $100,000 a year from their online formula trade.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.