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Australia 12.02.2024

Dairy Prices Surge Globally, While Uncertainty Looms Over Chinese Dairy Demand

Source: The DairyNews
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In the most recent Situation and Outlook Report from Dairy Australia, it has been forecasted that milk production in Australia will maintain stability throughout the 2023-2024 season.
Dairy Prices Surge Globally, While Uncertainty Looms Over Chinese Dairy Demand
However, despite this positive outlook, the dairy industry faces a twofold scenario with surging global dairy auction prices contrasted by lingering uncertainty surrounding Chinese dairy demand.

GlobalDairyTrade platform reported substantial gains in dairy auction prices, with an overall increase of 2.3% on January 16th. Notably, key prices for whole milk powder (WMP) experienced a solid gain of 1.7%. This positive trend follows a robust initial auction, indicating a broad-based strengthening of dairy prices on the global market.

Despite the positive global trend, caution prevails regarding the Chinese economy and its impact on dairy demand. Westpac NZ's chief economist, Kelly Eckhold, expresses reservations about the prospects for Chinese dairy demand, emphasizing the need for caution despite the encouraging auction results. The Chinese economy's trajectory remains uncertain, contributing to a sense of unpredictability in the demand for dairy products from this significant market.

As the dairy industry navigates through fluctuating global prices, keeping a watchful eye on Chinese economic developments will be crucial in determining the trajectory of future dairy demand. The juxtaposition of surging prices and uncertain demand underscores the complex dynamics at play in the global dairy market.
Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith
Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California
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February 2024
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