Chinese infant formula imports are now worth more than twice the value of whole milk powder (WMP) imports. According to Italian information analysis company CLAL, infant formula imports to China for the first nine months of this year had a landed value of US $2.1 billion, whereas WMP imports were valued at only $US 0.87 billion. This was despite the WMP volumes being more than double those of infant formula. On a per kilo basis, the infant formula had a landed value of US $12.63 whereas the WMP was valued at US $2.52.
New Zealand is the dominant supplier of China’s imported WMP, with more than 90 per cent market share. However, New Zealand is only a small player in the infant formula market, with 11 per cent of Chinese imports.
Compared to the same nine-month period three years earlier, Chinese WMP import volumes were 11 per cent lower, whereas infant formula imports had increased by 72 per cent. Surely there must lie a story within those numbers of relevance to all players in the dairy game.