Chinese imports of whole milk powder (WMP), skimmed milk powder (SMP), whey powder, infant formula and cheese increased in February after remaining weak towards the end of 2016 and at the start of this year.
Figures from financial services firm FC Stone indicate that Chinese imports of WMP increased by 50.8% year on year in February to 54,200t. For the first two months of 2017, WMP imports in China are up 3.9% compared to 2016.
SMP imports were up by 16% in February to 20,300t meaning Chinese SMP imports for the first two months of 2017 are up 4.2% year on year,
New Zealand continued to be the main source of Chinese WMP imports. Volumes of New Zealand SMP to China fell in February, however this was more than offset by increases in SMP imports from Germany, Australia, Finland and USA.
Whey powder imports in China shot up by 63% to 40,600t in February to a six-year high for the month. Imports of whey in China are up 9.1% in the first two months of 2017 to 75,200t.
Chinese infant formula imports were up 10.5% on February to 31,100t and Cheese imports were up 36.4% to 9,600t.
Butter was the only product to experience a reduction in imports to China last month with volumes down 15.4% year on year to 6,600t.