Freshagenda’s latest Global Dairy Directions (GDD) Trade Insights Monthly report shows March exports grew 13.2% YOY in milk solids equivalent (MSE) terms, pulling trade for Q1-2021 2.1% higher. There are big distortions in the numbers in the first quarters from COVID and Brexit. Compared to 2019, Q1-2021 was 3.5% weaker and combined six months trade over Q4 and Q1 trade was also a little weaker than 2019.
With the weak 2020 comparative, the monthly gains in trade were strong across powders, fats and cheese, whey and FFMP & mixtures, while IMF trade continued steady month-to-month improvements but was almost 20% weaker than March 2020.
The dominance of the expansion in China’s demand has rarely been more evident in a single reported month, while South America was the only other region to post year-on-year growth in Q1-2021. China’s importance was even more pronounced when considering that Sth American trade is high due to some transitory WMP demand in Brazil which is likely to dry up in a few months. The effects of the post-Brexit adjustments keep trade between the UK and EU-27 weak, while pause in shipments of tendered volumes into Nth African kept its trade significantly behind the prior year.