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Chinese demand for finished dairy products is on the rise

In August this year imports of the following dairy products increased in volume compared to the same month the previous year: cheese (+63.9%), infant formula (+34.8%), butter (+34.6%), whey powder (+31.9%), milk and cream (+30.5%) and whole milk powder (+20.6%). However, skimmed milk powder decreased (-18.9%).

If we consider the first eight months of this year (January-August), the largest increases primarily concern yoghurt and buttermilk (+143.3% in volume and +75.4% in value), milk and cream (+63.4% in volume and +48.4% in value), cheese (+30.2% in volume and 18.4% in value) and butter (+34.6% in volume and +24.6% in value). These figures illustrate a rise in demand for finished dairy products.

The main exporter of milk and cream to the Asian giant is Germany, with a market share of 34% and 145,107 tonnes of product (a good 31% more compared to the first eight months the previous year). France follows with an increase of 323% compared to 2015. New Zealand exports have also increased compared to the previous year, arriving at +89%.

New Zealand dominates the cheese market with an unreachable market share of 51%, the result of 32,950 tonnes of exported cheese – 38% more than in 2015. Nearby Australia follows, with just over 14,000 tonnes and an increase of 45% compared to the previous year. Third place goes to the United States, which has lost ground with 5,943 tonnes – 25% less than in 2015 (almost 8,000 tonnes). Fourth and fifth place go to France (2,514 tonnes; +115% compared to the previous year) and Italy, which is gradually increasing its presence in China (from 872 tonnes in the first eight months of 2014 to 1,848 tonnes in the same period in 2016).

Lastly, New Zealand also dominates the butter sector as 87% of foreign butter imported into China arrives from the land of kiwis. 2016 marks a clear rebound compared to the disastrous 2015 in which the 59,592 tonnes registered in the first eight months of 2014 fell to 37,632 tonnes in the same period that year. At a considerable distance are France (+46%), Belgium (+47%) and Australia (-16%).