Miss on milk boom

Central and North Rural Weekly - - NEWS - — Peter Hem­phill

AUS­TRALIAN dairy farm­ers are un­likely to be able to cap­i­talise on a fore­cast growth in the global dairy mar­ket over the next five years.

De­clin­ing Aus­tralian milk pro­duc­tion will see lo­cal farm­ers miss out on big de­mand for dairy prod­ucts an­tic­i­pated from China and South­east Asia.

Eu­ro­pean food and drink re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion Gira has fore­cast global dairy con­sump­tion to rise 126.7 bil­lion litres milk equiv­a­lent within five years from to­day’s level of about 650 bil­lion litres milk equiv­a­lent.

More than 75 per cent of that is in In­dia and Pak­istan, both of which are largely self-suf­fi­cient in pro­duc­tion.

Ex­clud­ing those two coun­tries, Gira es­ti­mates growth in dairy con­sump­tion in the rest of the world over the next five years to be

31.5 bil­lion litres milk equiv­a­lent — or about three times Aus­tralia’s cur­rent milk pro­duc­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Gira con­sul­tant Earl Rat­tray, many dairy pro­duc­ing coun­tries will be able to meet their own re­quire­ments but deficits will ap­pear in oth­ers – par­tic­u­larly in China and South­east Asia.

Mr Rat­tray said South­east Asia and China would pro­duce about 3.2 bil­lion litres more milk by 2023, but still be left with a 6.3-bil­lion litre short­fall.

He said the US and Eu­ro­pean Union were ex­pected to pro­duce 15 bil­lion litres more milk by 2023 but 11 bil­lion litres of that would be con­sumed do­mes­ti­cally, leav­ing the equiv­a­lent of four bil­lion litres for ex­port mar­kets.

Aus­tralia was un­likely to fill the gap in milk deficit coun­tries on its doorstep.

“In milk deficit mar­kets, drink­ing milk, and es­pe­cially man­u­fac­tured dairy prod­ucts, are of­ten made from im­ported in­gre­di­ents be­cause there isn’t enough lo­cal milk sup­ply to make them,” Mr Rat­tray said.

“It is the sup­ply of longer life dairy in­gre­di­ents – milk pow­ders, cream prod­ucts, but­ter, an­hy­drous milk fat and in­gre­di­ent cheese – into these milk deficit coun­tries which is the is­sue.

“Aus­tralia’s dairy pro­ces­sors are mak­ing less of them and more of what they do man­u­fac­ture is be­ing con­sumed at home,” Mr Rat­tray said.

PHOTO: ANDY ROGERS

MILK JUMP: Dairy con­sump­tion will rise 126.7 bil­lion litres within the next five years.

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