EU could supply close to 35pc of the increase in global dairy demand by 2030

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Global trade in dairy products will grow at a significantly slower pace between now and 2030 than in the past decade, a new outlook report by the European Commission has said.

However, growing world import demand driven by population growth (notably in Africa) and income growth will drive higher consumption of dairy products over the outlook period.

The EU and New Zealand will lead the export market.

There will also be more of a focus on added-value products for which the EU has a clear competitive advantage.

In addition, consumer preferences for differentiated products (e.g. organic, GM-free, pasture-based, local) will drive the development of alternatives to conventional production systems. Environmental requirements will also play an increasing role in shaping production systems.

By 2030, world milk production is expected to exceed 1 billion tonnes, increasing annually by more than 15 million tonnes, slightly faster than in the last decade.

More than 40pc of this increase should take place in India, which is continuously investing in large modern farms and infrastructure.

However, India is expected to trade on the world market only in exceptional market conditions (e.g. export subsidies for SMP because of high stocks, as observed in 2018).

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The EU could supply close to 35pc of the increase in global demand over the outlook period. Demand is expected to grow for high added-value (e.g. organic, geographical indications, etc.) products (notably cheeses), for which Europe has a clear competitive advantage.

EU exports of cheese, SMP and whey powder (but also butter and WMP) are expected to grow, on average, by around 330,000t milk equivalent per year. This is slower than in the last 10 years (+660,000t per year), but faster than New Zealand’s expected export growth (+250,000t) and the US’s (+270,000t).

The increasing world and domestic demand are expected to drive a modest (0.8pc per year on average) increase in EU milk production, which will reach 182 million t by 2030.

The total number of dairy cows in the EU is expected to be 21.9 million heads by 2030.

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