Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says a resurgence of nationalism around the world will bring uncertainty and protectionism threatens global trade.

Spierings, in notes to a presentation to financial institutions, also warned of ongoing volatility in the commodities markets.

He said that among global trends, a “resurgence of nationalism brings uncertainty”, citing Brexit, Turkey, China, Russia and the United States.

Fonterra is the world’s largest milk processor, taking in about 22 million tonnes of milk a year, and accounts for 17 per cent of global dairy exports, sending its products to more than 140 countries.

Growth in global trade is uncertain this year following the election US President Donald Trump, who favours protectionism and has withdrawn the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and Britain’s plan to withdraw from the European Union.

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