Chinese WMP imports fell 10.5% YOY for the month to 33,064t and are up 38% for the year to date, reflecting relatively high stocks and smaller participation on GDT as NZ-origin product average CIF shipped prices were flat at US$4,307/t. The October contraction followed seven consecutive monthly increases.
October cheese imports were also weaker – down 5.2% YOY to 7,942t, a 17-month low as average shipped prices surpassed the US$5,000/t mark for the first time since January 2015. For the year to date, total cheese imports were 38.3% ahead of the same period in 2020. Among other key products, October dry whey imports fell 9.7% YOY, while infant formula and AMF were down 20.4% and 47.1% respectively
Meanwhile, imports of SMP rose 28.4% YOY to 32,658t with CIF import prices stabilising at US$3,366/t. Between January and October, SMP imports were 33.6% ahead of the prior year comparable, with local inventories historically high for a beginning of Q4. Imports of butter also continued to expand, up 18.7% YOY and lifting in each month since March despite average CIF import prices hovering below the US$6,000/t mark for the third consecutive month.