The latest figures show that infant milk formula (IMF) exports to China were up last month compared with March 2016. By Amy McShane.
Ireland is the second largest origin for Chinese IMF imports, coming behind the Netherlands, which sent 7,221t of IMF. Last month Ireland exported 3,629t of IFM, up from 3,528t exported in March last year.
IMF posted a sharp increase of over 32% year on year, up 67.7% on the three-year average. Infant milk imports for this year are at 54,078t, up 18.7% year on year.
Butter and AMF also saw increases last month of 11.7% year on year and this was the largest amount of imports in three years.
China took more cheese and whey, going up by 22.6% and 13%, respectively. Cheese imports for March were at 8,914t, with whey at 47,544t.
WMP demand slowing
New Zealand has the biggest share in most of the commodities, apart from infant milk formula. It is the largest exporter of WMP and SMP, both of which declined in China last month.
WMP recorded a seven-year low, dropping almost 30% year on year to 33,515t. This puts March 2017 WMP imports almost 50% behind the three-year average for the month.
Overall WMP imports so far this year total 196,106t, down 3.9%.
Demand for SMP also slowed and was down 0.8% on March last year to 21,420t. However, overall SMP imports so far this year are 2.7% ahead of the same point in 2016.
Source: Farmers Journal