China has become the world's top dairy importer, with a fivefold increase in its dairy market from a decade ago.

With many of the nation's parents hesitant to give their children domestically produced formula, opportunities have opened for foreign producers to sell their dairy products to Chinese consumers at a premium price. Germany, New Zealand and France have ramped up production, and now the United States is getting into the act.

With U.S. consumption flat, American dairy exports are growing at a record clip. Shipments to China grew to $706 million last year, up from $137 million in 2009, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council in Virginia.

Revenue in the China's dairy market reached $40 billion last year, according to market research firm Euromonitor.

(From staff and wire reports. Submit items to