Market analysis

Read our report on the EU dairy extra trade in the first half of 2021. Take a look at slightly decreased exports and skyrocketing imports of butter. Learn about the largest Polish shipments of SMP and cheese products to third countries. See also which countries have recently become the key importers of the EU-origin WMP. 

 

Butter exports

Between January and June 2021, EU butter exports to third countries amounted to a total of 92,618 tonnes – a drop of 21% compared to the same period last year. The main European seller of the product was Ireland with deliveries of 24,220 tonnes, followed by France having shipped 20,524 tonnes. Other major suppliers of EU butter to the third countries include the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Belgium.

The key buyer of EU-origin products in 2021 was the U.S. with orders for 19,973 tonnes, representing a 10% decrease compared to the same period last year. Ireland has supplied 77% of the EU butter deliveries to the U.S. this year. Several Asian partners have increased their orders for EU butter in 2021 including China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The sharpest growth was seen from the latter, purchasing a total of 2,190 tonnes of EU butter – 68% more than in the first half of 2020. Over 50% of the EU butter deliveries to Indonesia were provided by the Netherlands. China was the second-largest buyer with 41% more purchases totaling 10,532 tonnes of the product.

Significant drops in orders between 30% and 60% came from Morocco, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia was the second-largest buyer of EU butter in 2020 but was now degraded to the fourth position with a 60% decline in orders to 4,459 tonnes in the first half of 2021. Poland was the key European supplier of butter to Serbia with 1,401 tonnes of the product delivered which represents over 72% of all Serbian purchases of the EU product. 

 

Butter imports

The EU has increased its butter imports by 159% in the first half of 2021 to a total of 1,832 tonnes. Around 1,136 tonnes of the product came from the U.S. compared to 137 tonnes shipped up until June last year. Other major suppliers to the EU include New Zealand and Iceland with 329 tonnes and 249 tonnes deliveries respectively. 

 

SMP exports

In the first half of 2021, the EU shipped a total of 414,771 tonnes of SMP compared to 416,144 tonnes in the same period last year. France was the top supplier of the product with 897,941 tonnes of SMP shipped to third countries, followed by Belgium having delivered 76,086 tonnes, and Germany responsible for 66,045 tonnes.

The main buyer was China with purchases for 70,844 tonnes of SMP – up by 27% from the same time in 2020. China’s main European suppliers were France, Germany, Finland, and Sweden. Just like in 2020, Algeria ranked second despite a 36% drop in orders with 48,039 tonnes of SMP purchased, of which almost half was provided by Poland. Indonesia ranked third with 38,571 tonnes of SMP purchased and the largest increase of 91%. Main suppliers to Indonesia include Belgium, France, and Germany. The Philippines upped their SMP orders by 59% to 23,621 tonnes, of which 10,034 tonnes were provided by Belgium.

Decreased orders for EU-origin SMP came from Egypt, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. Poland was the fifth-largest supplier of SMP to third countries, with a total of 42,602 tonnes of the product delivered. Among all EU producers, Poland has delivered the largest overall shipment of SMP to Algeria of about 23,950 tonnes. Other key importers of Polish products include the Philippines, China, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. 

 chuttersnap fN603qcEA7g unsplash

WMP exports

Between January and June this year, EU deliveries of WMP equaled 144,471 tonnes – an 8% decrease compared to the first half of 2020. The largest European exporter of WMP was the Netherlands with a total of 48,281 tonnes of the product delivered to third countries, followed by Denmark shipping 23,468 tonnes at the same time. The key buyer of the EU-origin WMP, just like in the previous years, was Oman with purchases for 25,827 tonnes representing a slight growth in orders equaling 3%. The main suppliers of WMP to Oman include Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.

For the first time in years, China has ranked second after increasing its WMP purchases from the EU by 67% to a total of 11,508 tonnes. Key deliveries came from the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. Similar growth of 65% was seen from Bangladesh, where 3,842 tonnes of WMP was delivered from the EU. Senegal also upped its orders by 10% to 4,553 tonnes of the product. However, several key partners have decreased their orders for EU-origin WMP. The sharpest drop of 53% was seen in deliveries to Algeria. While Kuwait decreased its purchases by 30%, its almost exclusive supplier was the Netherlands.

A decline between 13% and 19% came from countries including Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Lebanon. In the first half of 2021.

Poland delivered a total of 2,977 tonnes of WMP to third countries. 

 

Whey powder exports

Between January and June 2021, the EU delivered a total of 354,035 tonnes of whey powder to third countries. The largest buyer of the product was China with 140,898 tonnes ordered, of which over one fourth came from France. Poland was the second-largest provider with a total of 28,580 tonnes of whey powder shipped to China, equaling 45% of all Polish exports of this product to third countries. Other major suppliers of whey powder to China were Germany and the Netherlands, providing 21,084 tonnes and 24,252 tonnes respectively. Indonesia ranked as the second-largest buyer of the EU-origin whey powder with purchases totaling 45,458 tonnes mainly coming from Germany, France, and Poland. Other major buyers of the product include primarily Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, and the Philippines. 

 

Cheese exports

In 2021, monthly exports of EU-origin cheese were larger in volume than in the previous year. Between January and June, EU producers excluding the UK have delivered a total of 479,482 tonnes of cheese, representing a 7% growth compared to the same period in 2020. The main suppliers of EU-origin cheese to third countries were Germany and the Netherlands with deliveries totaling 85,154 tonnes and 82,995 tonnes respectively. France and Italy followed with shipments of over 58,000 tonnes each. Other main sellers responsible for deliveries of min. 10,000 tonnes include Denmark, Ireland, Spain, and Belgium.

In the first half of 2021, the top buyer of the European-origin cheese was the U.S. with orders up by 18% from the same period in 2020 and totaling 61,849 tonnes. The Italian cheese deliveries to the U.S. amounted to 17,500 tonnes and were the largest partnership between a European provider and a third-country buyer. The second-largest importer of the EU-origin product was Japan with orders for 59,585 tonnes, down by 7% from the same period last year. The cheese deliveries mainly came from the Netherlands and Germany, together providing almost half of the shipments to Japan.

The largest increase in orders for European cheese came from China, where 21,708 tonnes were delivered, representing a 79% growth from the same time in 2020. China’s main supplier was Denmark, responsible for almost 40% of the country’s EU cheese imports. Switzerland ranked third in EU-origin cheese imports with orders totaling 38,100 tonnes, up by 7% from last year’s numbers at the same time. The county’s main suppliers were Germany and Italy, both having delivered over 12,000 tonnes in the first six months of 2021.

Ukraine, Libya, and Canada noted a double-digit increase in their orders for EU cheese. However, South Korea and Morocco have decreased the deliveries by 9% and 5% respectively. Between January and May 2021, cheese deliveries from the UK amounted to a total of 157,580 tonnes – an 11% decline from last year’s number at the time. Poland was the fifth-largest supplier of EU-origin cheese to third countries, with a total of 35,606 tonnes of the product delivered. Poland’s main buyers were Ukraine responsible for over 32% of all cheese orders and Saudi Arabia for over 17%. 

 

Cheese imports

Between January and May 2021, the EU purchased a total of 45,211 tonnes of cheese from the UK – a decrease of 26% compared to the same period last year. In the first half of the year, EU orders for cheese from the third countries amounted to 32,229 tonnes, representing a 14% growth from last year’s numbers at the same time. Switzerland remains the key supplier of cheese to the EU countries, with a 10% growth and 28,257 tonnes of the product delivered in the first half of 2021. Other providers of cheese fell far behind these numbers. Serbia ranked as the second-largest supplier with deliveries up by 25%, totaling 903 tonnes. Between January and June 2021, other significant increases were seen for shipments from Australia and Bosnia-Herzegovina at 94% and 99% respectively.

New Zealand increased the cheese shipments to the EU from 76 tonnes in the first half of 2020 to 329 tonnes in the first six months of 2021. However, this year’s numbers are still a fracture of those provided in the first half of 2019 when New Zealand delivered 1,286 tonnes of cheese to the EU. 

iStock 469560541

 

 

Read more about related topics:

Milk and whey powders - international overview

European organic milk market