China’s dairy demand stirs but stockpiling continues

Published 2 August 16

China’s dairy imports showed some positive signs in the first half of the year, with WMP volumes increasing by 24% compared to 2015. However, demand is still fragile in China, according to Rabobank, and so the recent rise in imports is thought to have boosted domestic stock levels in the country. As a result, Rabobank expects powder imports to slow again later in the year.

This is in line with the USDA’s latest forecast, which predicts China’s WMP imports will grow by 8% to reach 375k tonnes for the whole of 2016. Given that imports to June totalled 292k tonnes, this suggests a significant slowdown in the second half of the year. So, although there are signs of stirring demand in China, concern continues about the level of stock held in the country and the impact that will have on a sustained global dairy recovery.

 China imports 2Aug16

*Actual import volumes for Jan-Jun-16 combined with the latest USDA forecast for the full year