Why the A2 Milk share price has climbed higher in March

As the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) plummets lower, A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) shares have gained 3.44% in March. So, what's the deal?

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While the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fallen 23.10% lower in March, A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) shares have rocketed higher. As of yesterday's close, a2 Milk shares are up 3.44% this month to be trading at $15.95 per share.

So, what's behind the share price gains and how is a2 Milk outperforming the market?

Why a2 Milk shares have climbed higher

a2 Milk shares rocketed 5.28% higher yesterday to move back into positive territory in March. It's been a rollercoaster of a ride for shareholders but a recent announcement has helped the dairy group's share price.

The New Zealand dairy group announced it would expand its brand into Canada. In partnership with Agrifood Cooperative, a2 branded liquid milk will soon be on Canadian shelves. That's good news for shareholders after a pretty bleak start to the year.

a2 Milk shares have proven resilient and that could also be due in part to recent panic buying. Aussies have flocked to supermarkets like Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) as COVID-19 fears have gotten out of control. That's meant that the major supermarkets have cracked down on the sale of certain products.

Just yesterday, Coles announced a two product per person cap on milk purchases. That could be a good thing for a2 which supplies to the major supermarkets.

Which other ASX shares are climbing higher in March?

It's been a pretty wild ride for investors this month, with very few ASX shares actually posting gains. However, there has been the odd exception like a2 Milk shares.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the owner of the IGA supermarket chain, Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) is right up there with a 26.72% gain in March. Coles isn't far behind while Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) shares are up 2.06% this month.

There are some surprise gainers which seem to be mostly those that were heavily sold off in February. Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) and Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA) are two of the big names I'd put in this category.

Foolish takeaway

If you hold a diversified portfolio of ASX shares, then you're likely a little nervous right now. But the reality is that COVID-19 will pass at some point and shares will pick up again. It's important to stay the course and remember that markets are forward-looking, so a lot of the risk could already be priced in.

a2 Milk shares are showing that it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom right now.

Motley Fool contributor Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Blackmores Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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