Weekly Product Updates

W5 Dairy Update: Cheese Imports Surge, Packaged Milk Declines in China, Milk Production Trends in Krasnodar Territory

Cow Milk
Supply Chain Management
Market & Price Trends
Published Feb 9, 2024

Surge in Cheese Imports, Decline in Packaged Milk, and Steady Liquid Milk Exports

In 2023, China experienced a surge in cheese imports, reaching 178.2 thousand metric tons (mt), reflecting a 22.5% year-on-year (YoY) increase. The total import value amounted to USD 968 million, marking a YoY increase of 25.9%, with an average price of USD 5,431/mt, up by 2.8% YoY. New Zealand emerged as the largest cheese supplier to China, accounting for 59.9% of imports, followed by the European Union (18.3%), Australia (11.7%), and the United States (6.5%). Notably, imports from the United States (US) experienced a substantial YoY increase of 125.4%. On Dec-23 alone, China imported 15.3 thousand mt of cheese, representing a YoY increase of 32.2%, with a total import value of USD 78 million. However, the average price experienced a slight YoY decrease of 9.9%.

China's packaged milk imports experienced a decline in 2023, according to data from China Customs. Total imports amounted to 549.4 thousand mt, marking a YoY decrease of 23.9%. The total import value reached USD 558 million, reflecting a decrease of 16.2% YoY, while the average price increased by 10.1% YoY to USD 1,016/mt. Among the major suppliers, the European Union (EU) accounted for the largest share, providing 296.5 thousand mt, representing 54% of total imports, but still experiencing a substantial YoY decrease of 27.5%. Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia also witnessed declines in their export volumes to China, with decreases of 6% and 41.7% YoY, respectively. However, in Dec-23, China's packaged milk imports saw a slight uptick, increasing by 6.2% YoY to 52.9 thousand mt. The import value and average price also increased by 7.5% and 1.3% YoY, respectively. Notably, imports from the EU and New Zealand showed positive YoY growth in Dec-23, while imports from Australia continued to decline.

On the export front, China exported a total of 32.2 thousand mt of liquid milk in 2023, marking a YoY increase of 7.3%, with an export value of USD 37 million, up by 4.2% YoY. Packaged milk accounted for the majority of exports (78.9%), with yogurt and cream comprising smaller portions. Hong Kong remained the primary destination for Chinese liquid milk exports, receiving 85.7% of the total volume. Specifically, packaged milk exports reached 25.5 thousand mt, experiencing a YoY increase of 6.5%, with an average price of USD 899/mt, down by 6.1% YoY. Notably, the majority of packaged milk exports (92.9%) were directed to Hong Kong, indicating a steady demand in this market segment.

Milk Production Trends in Krasnodar Territory

As of January 29, the gross milk yield in Russia's Krasnodar Territory since the beginning of the year totaled 3.72 thousand mt, marking an increase of 0.1% YoY. The bulk of milk production in the region originates from large and medium-sized agricultural enterprises, accounting for 86.7% (3.22 thousand mt). Small enterprises contribute 4.4% (164.3 mt), while private farms contribute 8.9% (330.5 mt) to the total milk output.

Leading the milk production are the Kanevsky (500.6 mt), Pavlovsky (358.2 mt), Vyselkovsky (351.2 mt), Novokubansk (267.0 mt), and Bryukhovetsky (196.0 mt) districts. On average, each cow yielded 26.7 kilograms (kg) of milk per day, representing a modest increase of 2.7% compared to 2023. Noteworthy disparities in daily milk yield were observed, with Krasnodar (33.4 kg), Timashevsky (33.0 kg), Kalininsky (32.9 kg), Pavlovsky, and Shcherbinovsky (30.5 kg each) regions reporting the highest figures.

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