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Strong growth in Chinese imports of dairy products

Chinese imports are practically booming. During the month of July the following products increased in volume: infant formula (+63.8%), cheese (+36.6%), packaged milk (+27.8%), cream (+88%), butter (+33.6%) and whole milk powder (+4.9%). Whey powder and skimmed milk powder decreased however by 4.1% and 26.9% respectively.

These figures confirm the market’s more than positive performance not only in terms of volume but also value. From January-July this year Chinese dairy imports increased by 27.6%, with yoghurt and buttermilk experiencing double figure growth (156%) compared to the same period the previous year. Figures for imports of the following are also worth noting: packaged milk (+66.6%), cream (+94.3%) and condensed milk (+77.5%). The only negative results regard caseinates (-4.9%) and lactose for use in food (-28.6%). As mentioned, growth in terms of value is for the most part positive compared to 2015, i.e. cream is up by 84.2%, yoghurt by 82.7% and condensed milk by 60.8%. Negative results concern skimmed milk powder (-20.4%), whey powder (-27.4%), caseinates (-30%) and lactose for use in food (-39.5%).

As far as cheese is concerned, there was an increase in value of 14.4% and one in volume of 26%. The countries of origin were as usual New Zealand, which leads with a market share of 52% and a growth rate of 34% compared to the first seven months of 2015. Australia holds second place with a market share of 22% and the same growth rate as its neighbour, i.e. 34%. At a considerable distance in third place is the United States with a 27% drop in exports to the Asian giant. In fourth place, but growing fast, is France with an increase over the same period in 2015 of at least 129 percentage points.

Growth rates for imports of cream are also close to three figures with an increase of as much as 94% compared to January-July 2015. It is still New Zealand that dominates, with a market share of 41% and a growth rate of 88% for a total of 21,000 tonnes of product. France is second with a market share of 38% and an even stronger growth rate of 92%. The United Kingdom is in third place at a considerable distance but with a growth rate of 195%, followed by Germany and then Australia, which is far behind.