AgroExport: in 2020, the export of whey increased 5 times
According to analysts, currently buyers of Russian whey are mainly neighboring countries, primarily Kazakhstan. Within 10 months, 4.4 thousand tons were exported to this country (4.5 times more compared to 2019) worth 3.6 million dollars (3.7 times more). Another 392 tons worth 266 thousand dollars were shipped to Uzbekistan, while in 2016-2019 there were practically no deliveries to this country. Ukraine is in the third place, it purchased 225 tons of whey (4.3 times more) for $ 179 thousand (2.6 times more). Belarus (162 tons for $ 107 thousand) and Kyrgyzstan (147 tons for $ 95 thousand) also increased purchases.
Whey is a byproduct in the production of cheese, cottage cheese, and casein, but it has a significant nutritional value in itself. The whey contains up to half of the milk solids, 95% of lactose, 20% of protein and up to 10% of milk fat, which can be used in children's, sports and specialized nutrition, as an additive in the food industry, as well as for feeding farm animals.
According to FAO estimates, in 2017-2019, the world produced more than 3.1 million tons of whey powder annually, and by 2029 this volume will reach 3.5 million tons. The world's leading cheese producers are also the largest producers of whey powder: these are the EU countries with a combined share of 59% and the United States with a share of about 15%.
These states are also the main exporters of whey. According to statistics from ITC Trade Map, in 2019, the United States sold 404 thousand tons of whey to foreign markets for $ 510 million, Germany - 425 thousand tons for $ 476 million, France - 312 thousand tons for $ 412 million.
The largest importer of whey is China: last year, about 18% of world imports in value terms were accounted for in this country. Also among the leading buyers are the EU countries (the Netherlands, Germany, France), Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. In total, in 2019, global imports of whey amounted to 3.2 million tons worth $ 3.3 billion.
According to the FAO forecast, volumes will increase significantly over the next decade, largely due to the demand for children's and special food. Global imports of whey powder alone will grow by 30% by 2029 compared to the 2017-2019 average and are expected to reach 2.1 million tons. In particular, over the next 10 years, China will increase purchases of whey powder by 40% to 718 thousand tons, Indonesia - by 43% to 187 thousand tons, and the Philippines - by half to 132 thousand tons.
Currently, the cheese whey produced in Russia is processed and mainly consumed in the domestic market; as for curd whey, about half of the volume received is sent for processing, said CEO of Soyuzmoloko Artem Belov to AgroExport. However, with the development of dairy enterprises and investment in modern technologies, Russia will increase production and may occupy its niche in the world export of whey and its products. ‘If we take the cheese segment, in the next 3-4 years in Russia it is planned to implement projects with a total cheese production of about 250-300 thousand tons. Almost each of these projects involves investing in its own drying complex and production of whey powder. Part of this volume will be exported,’ Belov said.
According to Belov, whey is one of the key products for export development among the exchange-traded dry products. ‘Russia can already be competitive and develop sales in the markets of East and South-East Asia, the Middle East, and so on,’ he said.
In 2020, the Chinese market was opened for Russian dry dairy products. According to Belov, it is expected that the first deliveries will be made at the end of this or early next year. The recent opening of the Algerian market was also a significant event (in 2019, this state imported milk powder and whey for almost $ 1 billion). In addition, Russian producers may be interested in South-East Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, The DairyNews reports data from AgroExport.
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