The Australian dairy industry is in transition as exports decrease and imports rise.

Story Jill Griffiths  Photo Dairy Australia

In a recent report on the outlook for the Australian dairy sector, Rabobank says the overall trade profile for Australian dairy is in a period of transition – “driven by a confluence of factors, including lower domestic milk production, an erosion of export competitiveness and more favourable domestic market returns impacting the product mix”.

Over the past 4 years, Australia’s total milk production has declined by about 700 million litres a year, to 8.129 billion litres last year. This has resulted in a shortage of milk for manufacturing, which in turn has contributed to a doubling of dairy product imports over the past 10 years. Last year Australia imported more than 1.4 billion litres worth of dairy products, particularly butter and skim milk powder, primarily from New Zealand, Europe and the USA. On top of this, Australia’s dairy product exports have declined from a high of nearly 6 billion litres of product in 2000/01 to 3 billion litres last year.

This story excerpt is from Issue #154

Outback Magazine: April/May 2024