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Check out the story of Dairy development in volatile and uncertain times.

COVID impact on the economy, weather and environmental challenges, as well as conflicts and energy crises, are becoming the new normal in the dairy industry. Dairy producers, processors and other dairy-related businesses need to adapt quickly to the new circumstances and discover the opportunities available to them to thrive in volatile and uncertain times.

The IFCN Dairy Research Network, whose mission is to help people in the dairy world make better decisions, has published its World Dairy Map 2022, which addresses the topical issue of “Dairy development in volatile and uncertain times”. It is the summary of the findings of the Dairy Report 2022, which was published in mid-October. It serves as an overview of the dairy world and a reference point for quick information on milk production, demand and dairy farming.

The overview of 2021 starts on the map with dairy consumption, which increased by 2.2 % to 123 kg per capita compared to the previous year. The main reason for this was that dairy products gained importance during the pandemic thanks to their health benefits and were promoted especially in Asian countries.

On the other hand, trade was not as strong, mainly due to low availability of dairy products in the main net exporting countries and some supply chain disruptions. Despite the moderate growth in dairy imports in 2021, the value of dairy imports was very high, confirming the strong demand.

Milk production grew strongly. It is interesting to note that more than 40% of the milk produced worldwide is still not delivered to dairies for processing. Most of the milk delivered is processed into cheese, with a share of 44%, but this picture looks different for each of the 124 countries studied in the milk report.

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In terms of milk supplied globally, more than half of it is produced in just 7 countries. This shows the potential of many emerging countries to transform the dairy chain, but also the importance of dairy for households and the livelihoods of farming families.

The monthly milk supply is represented by 65 countries and accounts for 92% of global milk production. If we exclude India and Pakistan, the global milk supply has been declining since September 2021, increasing competition for raw milk among dairy processors. High milk production costs, which have increased by +9% on average, have contributed to this. The increase in costs is mainly due to the rise in feed prices, which has led many countries to restrict their national supply.

This imbalance between supply and demand, combined with high costs, caused the world milk price to increase by +23% in 2021, leading to a new market level in 2022.

The outlook for milk prices in the coming months will largely depend on the development of milk production, which continues to be affected by high input costs and energy prices. On the other hand, the recession and high inflation rates will take their toll on demand, especially in price-sensitive markets.

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