Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest exporter of dairy products, achieved record export in the final three months of its season of 620,000 tonnes.
Its 2012 May, June and July shipments were 36 per cent more than the same period last year, reinforcing the 2011/2012 record milk production by its 10,500 dairy farmer members.
Total milk production was up 10 per cent on 2010/2011.
"We traditionally ship just over 450,000 tonnes at this time of year, but we've had a lot more product to move, and this has meant some creative planning across the wider supply chain to manage and store the additional volumes," said Fonterra NZ Milk Products managing director, Gary Romano.
"For the first time since Fonterra was formed, we chartered our own break-bulk vessel to send product to the Middle East."
Romano said that though dairy product demand usually lifts ahead of the Islamic month of Ramadan, the demand spike was more than expected.
"There was not enough available container capacity at that time of year," he said. "This meant Fonterra had to charter its own vessel to take 7,500 tonnes of products to ports in Dubai and Saudi."
Romano said the new dairy season has now begun.