In recent years, China has been the largest and fastest-growing dairy importing country by a wide margin and in the medium- to long-term demand is not likely to be threatened.
It was in 2001 that the business community began talking in terms of BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as potential powerhouses of the world economy. For those in the dairy commodity trade, China and in some cases Russia were the most important of these, depending on their product mix and geography. However, the BRIC concept is looking a little worn nowadays with only China and India showing serious growth, while Brazil stagnates and Russia - well we know the story.
Now the general approach has had a refresh and the talk is of the emerging importance of the "MINT" countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. This year, we have worked for customers on dairy export and investment opportunities in Southeast Asia (often overlooked in the rush to China), Latin America, the Middle East / North Africa region and Sub-Saharan Africa. An increasingly competitive world market - where milk supply has moved ahead while demand has faltered - makes the prospecting of new opportunities and business partners essential.
Yet we come back to the fact that, in recent years, China has been the largest and fastest-growing dairy importing country by a wide margin. Clearly we don't know how long it will take in 2015 for China's buying to pick up again. However, medium- to long-term demand is not likely to be threatened: the realities of the local dairy sector and the country's economic climate dictate that imported dairy will remain a key feature of the market. So China will be key for dairy exporters to address.
Our worldwide dairy market knowledge is extensive - take a look at some of the projects that Orrani Consulting has undertaken across the globe.