Cheese exports provide increase for Austrian dairy

“Austrian milk exports continued to increase in 2019 and reached a total value of €943 million in the first nine months. This shows impressively that the high Austrian quality is also in demand abroad,” says president of the Association of Austrian Milk Processors (VÖM), Helmut Petschar (pictured), after studying the Statistics Austria’s foreign trade figures, which now are available for the first nine months of 2019.
While exports rose to €943 million in the first nine months, imports fell by 0.9% to €620 million. This resulted in a positive total balance of €323 million (+4.5%).
The most important foreign trade product was cheese, with a total value of €480 million, which increased by 4.5% (volume and price), but imports of cheese were also up to €378 million, its highest level. However, average export prices were 3.5% above the import prices.
In the liquid milk products category, 487,000 tons were exported with a value of €222 million, while imports was 930,000 tons valued at €56 million continued to decline. Shipping milk is also declining as mainly processed products are exported.
For fermented products, yogurt and alike there was an increase to €110 million, while imported products with the same quantities generated €38 million, 6.1% less than in 2018.
Butter exports rose to 3,100 tons with an average revenue of €5.17, while 14,700 tons were imported for €72 million (average price €4.85 per kg).
Powder exports fell by €39 million, while imports rose by €40 million. Whey products were exported for €76 million, while imports amounted to €37 million.
Main exporting countries were Germany (50%), followed by Italy, the Netherlands, China and Greece, and imports were also largely from Germany (approx. 60%), followed by Italy, the Netherlands and France.
Foreign trade with EU enlargement countries generated exports of €71 million and imports of €23 million.
“The foreign trade figures show that exports are a very important pillar for the domestic dairy industry and that competitiveness through quality in foreign trade is crucial for the Austrian dairy industry. A remedy for imports could be in improved origin marking, especially since the true origin of the products often remains unclear for the consumer,” Petschar adds.

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