Chinese dairy imports to fall by 8% in 2024 predict Rabobank

Thursday, 16 May 2024

Chinese demand for dairy has been the driving engine for the global dairy market in recent years, with the fortunes of the Chinese market setting the level of global demand. 

After a couple of years of decline, due to the pandemic and ensuing economic challenges, Rabobank analysts had been forecasting  a flatter picture for Chinese import demand for 2024.  However, they have now revised this figure to -8%.

The drivers behind that are stronger domestic milk production and weaker demand.  They reported that domestic Chinese dairy production growth had moved from 2 to 3.2% growth per annum.

Although the UK export only comparatively small amounts to China (only 0.6% of British dairy exports in 2023 went to China), the impact will still be felt keenly on our shores.  China’s biggest dairy supplier, New Zealand, will find a lot of product displaced and will have to find new markets for it.  This could have the impact of stagnating global commodity prices.  Whilst scarcity of supply in some regions is an emerging theme, a continuing lack of demand globally may keep the market in equilibrium. 

Image of staff member Susie Stannard

Susie Stannard

Lead Analyst (Dairy)

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