China Dairy import to grow strongly in 2014
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China Dairy import to grow strongly in 2014

Posted by | January 20, 2014 |

China’s whole milk powder imports, whose soaring growth this year has been key to supporting dairy prices near record levels, are to grow nearly as fast in 2014, with purchases of skim milk powder and whey to prove strong too. China’s whole milk powder buy-ins, which jumped 28% to a record 520,000 tons this year, will surge 25% in 2014 too, driven by demand from manufacturers of the likes of infant formula and yoghurt, the US Department of Agriculture’s Beijing bureau said.

Underlying market trends of “strong population growth, continued urbanization, higher incomes and nutritional concerns” are driving the popularity of whole milk powder, the bureau said. However, China’s own production is being squeezed by a dearth of capacity, besides domestic milk output growth which is struggling to keep up with consumption expected to rise 6.8% to 38.6m tons next year. “With a growing population and changing dietary demands from increasingly urban dwellers, China’s milk demand will likely continue to outpace its local milk production, resulting in additional dairy imports in 2013 and 2014,” the bureau said.

Indeed, Chinese imports of skim milk powder will rise by 15.0% to 230,000 tons in 2014, accelerating a little from the 14% rise this year. “Non-fat dairy milk is normally substituted for whole milk powder when prices are too high,” the bureau said, noting that in 2013, “the non-fat dairy milk import price increased by 14% to an average of $3,834 per tons, making it higher than the whole milk powder price for the first time since 2008”. Whole milk powder, containing extra fat, should in theory be more expensive that skim milk powder.
Furthermore, cheese imports will rise by 18% to nearly 45,000 tons, and why purchases by 20% to 442,000 tons.

Michael Boddington from Asian Agribusiness Consulting (AAC) has been involved in agribusiness in Asia since 2000. AAC has office both in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City and China Beijing. So AAC has a thorough understanding of the Viet Nam and China aqua industry and produces up-to-date research reports on the market. We can offer insights on supply and demand trends and comments on the future structure of Asian agribusiness. If you would like to know more please email