China loses its appetite for dairy imports

Published 1 October 15

Shipments of dairy products to China for the year to August 2015 were 1.2Mt, down 20% on the same period in 2014. This fall in volumes coincided with prices for dairy products decreasing resulting in the overall value of Chinese dairy imports being down almost 42%. WMP, SMP and butter saw the largest falls in trade in values and volumes. While infant milk formula saw an increase in both quantity and value terms, up 30% and 44% respectively.

According to the USDA, carryover stocks of WMP from 2014 are estimated at 300,000 tonnes, which represents almost 45% of Chinese imports of WMP in the previous year. This could mean that Chinese buyers may not choose to return to the market immediately. In addition a slowdown in China’s economy and surrounding uncertainty could also have an impact.