By Alexandria Winning-Browne, NZX dairy analyst
Chinese dairy imports for February declined 6% year on year (YoY), bringing year-to-date (YTD) figures to a deficit of 30%.
It is important to note, however, that the tariff window for NZ-China was exhausted last year, and as such Chinese imports of New Zealand products, particularly whole milk powder (WMP) , have taken a hit in January and February.
Despite the decline, and due to the increase in higher priced commodities compared to WMP, total dairy import values increased 9%, while remaining down 18% YTD.
WMP import volumes declined in February, with a 31% decrease YoY. China took 27% less WMP from NZ YoY, totalling just over 15,000mt. NZ did, however, significantly increase their market share of Chinese WMP imports, increasing from 87% to 92% of the share.
Skim milk powder (SMP) saw a 43% increase in February YoY. However, like WMP, the YTD figure is still in a deficit, down 2%.
NZ’s market share of China’s SMP imports has also increased significantly, up from 49.7% to 56% in February YoY. China took 60% more SMP from NZ, over 22,000mt.
Other declines are seen in anhydrous milkfat volumes, down 41% YoY, and butter, down 15% YoY.
Cheese imports remained unchanged and whey imports increased 53% YoY.
From a value perspective, SMP, cheese, whey and infant formula experienced increases, up 50%, 14%, 51%, and 45% YoY respectively.