June 19, 2017
Demand in Japan has opened opportunities for exporters of non-fat dry milk (NFDM), as the country intends to import up 34,000 tonnes of the product through March 2018.
Late last month the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced that it would import an additional 21,000 tonnes of NDFM within the next 10 months. An earlier announcement in late January said Japan would initially import 13,000 tonnes of NFDM following lower milk production in Hokkaido, Japan's main producer of milk and dairy products.
According to the US Department of Agriculture the decision to import 34,000 tonnes of NFDM was also impelled by the increased demand for drinking milk, sufficient butter stocks and steady demand for yogurt.
"MAFF's ability to import up to 34,000 tonnes of NFDM this fiscal year should alleviate the Japanese dairy product industry's concerns regarding a possible NFDM shortage", said the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) office in Japan.
It reported that the tenders for the 13,000 tonnes of NFDM announced in January were overbid by 350%, indicating that Japanese demand for NFDM is strong.
The tendering for 12,000 of the 21,000-tonne additional NFDM imports has also been scheduled.
Aside from the anticipated fall in fluid milk production in Hokkaido due to the hot and humid summer and the uncharacteristic series of four typhoon in August-September 2016, milk production in other parts of Japan has continued to fall over the last year, according to the USDA-FAS report.
"A recent uptick in the national consumption of drinking milk has increased demand for and shipments of drinking milk from Hokkaido to the rest of Japan. Falling total milk production and increased allocations of Hokkaido milk production to drinking milk has reduced available supplies of milk for processing into NFDM and other products", the report explained.-Rick Alberto