AUS­TRALIAN FO­CUS ON CHEESE COULD REAP DIV­I­DENDS

Dairy News Australia - - NEWS -

China’s per capita dairy con­sump­tion re­mains well be­low that of some of its east Asian neigh­bours, “such as Ja­pan, Korea and China’s Tai­wan”, but there are some dairy prod­uct cat­e­gories ex­hibit­ing strong growth op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“For ex­am­ple, an­nual cheese con­sump­tion in Ja­pan is two to four kilo­grams per per­son, while it is close to two kilo­grams per per­son in Korea and Tai­wan,” Mr Chen said.

“How­ever, in China, it is cur­rently less than 100 grams per per­son.”

“While this sees China only im­port around 100,000 tonnes of cheese each year – largely for its food-ser­vice sec­tor such as burger chains – Aus­tralia sup­plies nearly a quar­ter of all China’s cheese im­port re­quire­ments, hav­ing seen good trade growth in re­cent years.

“But­ter con­sump­tion is also grow­ing faster than other dairy cat­e­gories, but it also rep­re­sents a very small com­po­nent of over­all dairy con­sump­tion, so, like cheese, there is con­sid­er­able op­por­tu­nity for growth.”

Other sec­tors ex­hibit­ing strong growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in­clude yo­ghurt and ‘pre­mium’ white milk (which has a higher pro­tein con­tent of 3.3% to 3.4%) com­pared with ‘main­stream or stan­dard’ milk (with a pro­tein con­tent of 2.9% to 3%).

Mr Chen said while Aus­tralia has been im­port­ing fresh pas­teurised milk into China, rep­re­sent­ing five per cent of China’s liq­uid milk im­ports, it was fac­ing in­tense com­pe­ti­tion from do­mes­ti­cally-pro­duced milk.

“I see the ex­port of fresh liq­uid milk into China be­ing a very niche mar­ket, given the high air freight costs and in­creas­ing lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion.

“To re­main sus­tain­able ex­porters sup­ply­ing that mar­ket will to in­vest in a strong brand pres­ence to war­rant a pre­mium re­tail price.”

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