FAO releases 2020 dairy report
World dairy output has continued to increase, with Asia seeing the highest volume increase from 2019, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s overview of global dairy market developments in 2020, the Dairy Market Review. International trade for whole milk powder, whey and cheese rose, while skim milk powder and butter saw decreases in exports.
Global milk production reached nearly 906 million tonnes in 2020, up 2% from 2019, driven by output increases in all geographical regions, except in Africa, where production remained stable. Milk volume increases were highest in Asia, followed by Europe, the Americas, Oceania and Central America and the Caribbean.
In Asia, milk output rose to 379 million tonnes in 2020, up 2.6% year-on-year, principally driven by increases mainly in India, China, Pakistan and Turkey. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Japan too registered moderate production expansions.
In India, milk output reached 195 million tonnes in 2020, up 2% from 2019, underpinned by the continued rise in dairy cattle numbers and improved feed and fodder availability on favourable monsoon rains (June to September). In China, the increased output of large-scale dairy farms and their operational and production efficiency improvements underpinned the over 7% milk output growth. In Pakistan, milk output increased by 3.2%, mainly due to a rise in cattle numbers.
In Europe, milk output rose to 236 million tonnes, up 1.6% from 2019, mainly due to production increases in the European Union, the Russian Federation and Belarus. In North America, milk output reached nearly 111 million tonnes in 2020, up 2.1% from 2019. In the US, milk output rose by 2.2% to 101 million tonnes, driven by increased dairy herd numbers and milk yields. Covid-19 livestock sector assistance helped sustain internal demand and production, despite pandemic- related adverse impacts, especially labour shortages and transport hurdles. Buoyant import demand from Asia was also a factor that helped milk production expansion.
In South America, milk production expanded by 2% to nearly 82 million in 2020, driven by higher outputs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, partially offset by a decline in Venezuela. In Argentina, milk production expanded faster than anticipated earlier due to improved pastures and internal and foreign demand. Brazil’s milk output rose, helped by milk production recovery in the last quarter, following one of the country’s most prolonged droughts between May and October 2020.
After four years of declines, milk production in Australia rebounded by over nine million tonnes, underpinned by good rains, improved pastures and increased fodder and feed availability. Government assistance to drought-affected farming households and the extension of farm household allowances also contributed to production expansion. In New Zealand, following a marginal (0.7%) contraction in 2019, milk output rose slightly (+0.4%), reaching 22 million tonnes.
In Africa, milk production remained stable, at 49 million tonnes. Algeria registered a significant output increase, whereas Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa, among others, registered declines.
On the import side, international dairy trade increased by 1.2% to nearly 79 million tonnes (milk equivalent) in 2020, principally due to increased imports by a few countries, namely China, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. China, the world’s largest dairy importer, purchased 17 million tonnes of milk products, a 7.4% increase over 2019, partly induced by the early end of
Covid-19 lockdowns but driven mainly by rising per capita consumption among affluent and urban consumers and expanding consumer base. A sharp increase in whey powder imports, prompted by surging demand from piggeries, also contributed to China’s increased dairy imports.
For further information, see: www.fao.org/3/cb4230en/cb4230en.pdf.