Since 2019, China has seen an over-enthusiasm for dairy farm investment and construction. The continued growth in dairy cattle stock and milk production results in a change in raw milk supply and demand. In 2022, raw milk demand will only grow at a rate of 7% or more to absorb the current rapid growth in capacity.
China’s dairy herd is expected to reach 6.6 million in 2023
By the end of 2021, China’s dairy herd stood at 5.6 million head, an increase of 550,000 since 2020, with an annual growth rate of nearly 11%. Numbers are expected to reach 6.2 million by the end of 2022. In 2023, 6.6 million cattle are expected, after which the growth rate will slow down with a conservative estimate of 100,000 head per year in 2024 and 2025.
China’s Dairy Cattle Number
China’s Milk Consumption (10k tons) and Growth Rate
Consumption growth is the driving force behind the sustainable development of China’s dairy industry
In the long run, the growth rate of milk consumption in China is 4%-5%. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the growth rate of milk consumption was relatively high, reaching 8%-9%.
In 2021, the average output of commercial raw milk was 77,000 tons daily, and the demand for raw milk increased by 9%. There was still a supply gap of about 3,000 tons. In 2022, the average commercial raw milk production is expected to reach 86,000 tons/day.
The raw milk demand growth rate can only reach 7% or more to absorb the fast-growing production capacity. However, with the end of the pandemic, there is uncertainty about whether the high consumption growth rate is sustainable.
Forecast of Commercial Milk in 2022
Source: National Dairy Industry Technology System