AHDB Dairy is reporting that 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. 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.
Meanwhile, Defra has revised their UK milk production figure for July upwards to 1,254m litres, 2.4% up on last year and the highest July production figure since deregulation in 1994. Production in August is provisionally put at 1,199m litres, 1.8% up on last year and another record high. If August is confirmed, UK production will have reached post-deregulation record highs in six out of the last seven months.