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Commodity Watch

 

India leads global milk output in 2005

Sangita Shah

Mumbai, Jan 29  Global milk production for the year 2005 is estimated to grow 2.4%, particularly led by India and the US. By economic group, milk production in the developing countries is expected to grow over 4% in 2005, compared to less than 1% in the developed countries.

As in recent years, much of the dynamism of the dairy industry is stemming from developments in both supply and demand in developing countries. According to Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), milk production is estimated to grow 2.4% in 2005, after an increase of 1.9% in the previous year, encouraged by high international prices.

Among the developing countries, India’s output keeps growing strongly on an annual basis as investments continue in the sector, while strong rises in domestic demand sustain prices.

A normal monsoon this year has made ample fodder supplies available and production should rise by over 4% in 2005. The country now accounts for over half of the total milk output of Asia and is reinforcing its position as the world’s largest single milk producing country. With high international prices, export markets offer potential for further growth.

The country with the fastest production growth is China, which has almost doubled its milk output since 2001. However, some reports indicate the rate of growth has subsided somewhat in 2005, under higher costs of production. Production in 2005 is now expected to grow by 20%, down from 26% last year. In Pakistan, which is the world’s fifth largest milk producing country, output continues to rise at the rate of 3% per year. The dairy sector accounts for more than 40% of the value of agricultural output and is a critical revenue source.

Consumption of dairy products constitutes almost 15% of daily calorie intake.

The extent of the impact of the 8 October 2005 earthquake on the dairy sector is not fully known. There are reports stating that as many as 2,50,000 farm animals perished and that many others remained in undernourished conditions. Farmers are reported to be selling livestock assets for slaughter at reduced prices.

For Central America and the Caribbean, overall milk output is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2005 as low-cost milk producers responded to the high international prices of the past two years. Costa Rica’s output has hit record levels in 2005.

In South America, growth continues to be strong, at 3.9%, with particularly high rates expected for Argentina at 4.6% and Brazil at 4.0%.

Chile’s production continues to expand by over 5%. Peru recorded an annual rate of 3-4% and this is expected to continue with higher prices. Milk output in Uruguay is expected to expand 8% in 2005, after two years of low growth.

In Africa, conditions for milk production vary significantly. The problem of locusts has subsided in western Africa and reports indicate that the rainy season this year was favourable.

 
 

URL: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=116068

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