A bright future for China's dairy market
07 Aug 2018
"Already the world’s largest dairy importer, China’s demand for dairy will continue to grow over the next decade, according to China Ag Outlook published April 2018."
Trade partners should remain aware of shifting consumption patterns and broadening market access, potentially including new competitors – but they can be confident that China will remain a large and growing market for dairy products.
Notably, projections have been revised upward significantly since the 2015 Ag Outlook, which projected imports would reach 16 million tonnes in 2024; the 2018 outlook predicts imports will reach 16 million tonnes this year.
Domestic demand is rising fast, projected to grow 40 percent in the next five years.
Short-term disruptions of market access, often due to changing domestic quality and safety regulations, grab headlines in international media. For example, compliance with strict new import requirements for infant formula challenged the industry in 2017 and came into effect 1 January 2018 – but tariffs were also dropped to zero for all trade partners on most formula categories this spring.
With a five million tonne aggregate rise in dairy product imports projected by 2027, the largest in any animal protein category, it is clear that Chinese policymakers and consumers alike remain committed to buying global dairy.
Even Rogers Pay
Lead Analyst - Agriculture, China Policy
Even is a senior analyst based in Beijing. Her professional focus is on agricultural production and supply chains including policy and technology initiatives to scale up and intensify dairy production and manage processing and supply farm-to-table. At China Policy, she leads research on China’s dairy and livestock space, spanning domestic breeding and farm management, shifts in import patterns and demand from dairy processors, changes to safety and quality regulation, and new standards and technologies along the supply chain. Based in China since 2005, she previously worked as a consultant to PE, VC, and angel investors in agriculture, as a Princeton in Asia research fellow, a contractor to US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Office at the Beijing embassy, and as chief analyst and head of product at Smart Agriculture Analytics, a startup focused on China agriculture and agtech market data. Even has a BA in political economy from Carleton College in the US and a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus in ag policy from Tsinghua University in Beijing.