Analysis: Chinese anti-corruption campaign will hit EU dairy growth
Published 05/10/2016 | 02:30
It's hard to be believe that an anti-corruption drive amongst Beijing's political elite would affect a farmer's milk cheque over 8,000km in Ballybay.
Such are the ripple effects of the global market that farmers are now exposed to.
While China is still the fastest growing milk market in the world, dairy products are a long way off being staples for the average Wang Fang - the Chinese equivalent of Mary Murphy.
Back in the good old days of political backhanders for every well connected party stalwart, Mrs Wang found herself with a constantly topped-up giftcard for her nearest Carrefour supermarket. Western brand outlets are the place to go for the shopper that isn't so worried about the price of onions, so to speak. Exotic looking yoghurts, ice-creams and European UHT milk were all part of the mix.
But the Communist Party's diktat on anti-corruption put an end to all that. And according to Rabobank's Chinese dairy analyst, Sandy Chen, that has been part of the big drop in growth in China.
Surely the relaxation of the one-child policy will more than make up for any loss in demand from giftcards?
"There will only be a very modest lift in family size," claims Mr Chen.
"The additional time, cost and anxiety that parents associate with having a second child in first-tier cities [like Beijing and Shanghai] is just too much. Really the interest in having a second child is not high at all among those born in the 1980s."