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Market Monitoring Dairy Industry: Insights August 2021

Mathieu Geuskens published on November 23, 2021

In this monthly dairy industry update, our analysts will share valuable insights about the dairy market. This month: Dutch cheese trade volume is up 2.4% in August compared to August 2020, prices are up 5.9%.

Market Monitoring of the dairy industry

Market monitoring helps agri food companies to objectively evaluate their current position within the market and the development of that position. Furthermore, it helps to spot new growth opportunities and whether the market is saturated.

For the A-INSIGHTS MarketMonitor, we analyze the global trade in dairy products on a monthly basis. Derived from local customs agencies and statistics offices, the data gives us insight into monthly trade volumes and prices for all major importers and exporters. Combined with our sector expertise, we can provide you with an up-to-date view of the developments in the global dairy market. 

Year-over-year volume increase normalizes in August

After a strong year-over-year volume increase in July (+8.3%), the August trade volume of Dutch cheeses (Edam, Gouda, Maasdam) is up 2.4% compared to August 2020. Due to lower trade volumes in January (-10.6%), May (-7.3%), and June (-6.0%), the year-to-date trade volume for Dutch cheeses is still well below previous years' levels and the lowest level recorded since 2015. 

Dutch Cheese Highlights August 2021Figure 1. Total Dutch Cheese export YTD until August, tonnes and €/kg

At the same time, the year-to-date average price level for Dutch cheeses is at the highest level of the past 6 years. Trade prices have been above 2020 levels since April, and the average price of €3.77/kg in August is up 5.9% compared to August 2019. Combined with the year-over-year volume decline, the increased trade prices indicate shortages in the market.    

August volume increase supplied by Germany and Denmark 

When looking at the supply side of the market, we see that the increased trade volume in August is largely supplied by Germany (+933 tonnes) and Denmark (+899 tonnes). At the same time, Dutch exports decline by 530 tonnes due to lower demand from Belgium and Germany, but the export value is up 5.6% due to the €0.27/kg price increase. Almost all major exporters manage to realize a price increase in August (+€0.21/kg on average), with the exception of Belgium. 

Dutch CHeese Exporters August 2021Figure 2. Top 5 Dutch Cheese exporters August, tonnes and €/kg

Japan imports down Y-o-Y, Latin American demand increases

On the demand side, it becomes clear that the increased demand from Japan in 2020 is not maintained: volumes are down 13.5% compared to the high imports of August 2021. The country imported a record 47.4 thousand tonnes of Dutch cheese between January and August 2020, up 10.4% compared to 2019. At 42.7 thousand tonnes of Dutch cheese import year-to-date, Japanese imports are comparable to the pre-COVID levels of 2019. An interesting development can be found in the (relatively limited) imports from Chile and Mexico: the Latin American countries' imports are up 874 tonnes and 719 tonnes respectively, which is double the exports recorded for both countries in 2020. 

Dutch CHeese Importers August 2021Figure 3. Top 10 Dutch Cheese importers August, tonnes and €/kg

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Mathieu Geuskens

Senior Analyst Food & Agri / mathieu.geuskens@a-insights.eu