PHILIPPINE dairy imports are projected to rise next year in line with the continued increase in demand, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said.
In a report, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service said demand is expected to rise 3% to 3.5 million metric tons (MT) in liquid milk equivalent in 2024.
It added that most domestic demand will be met by imports. The Philippines imports 99% of its dairy requirement.
“With an expanding middle class and a growing population, the Philippines is a large and expanding market for dairy products with annual per capita consumption of 27 kilograms,” the USDA said.
The country imported 4.46 million MT of dairy in the first half of the year, according to the National Dairy Authority.
The US remained the top source of dairy, accounting for 35% of total import volume, followed by New Zealand with 21%.
The USDA expects imports of liquid (ready-to-drink) milk to hit 110,00 MT in 2024, due to the expansion of milk feeding programs and further consumption of coffee and milk tea products.
Shipments of cheese are also expected to rise to 53,000 MT in anticipation of better prices and the resolution of supply and logistics issues.
Philippine imports of skim milk powder are expected to be flat at 160,000 MT due to high prices and “logistics issues.”
Meanwhile, the USDA sees domestic milk output improving to 29,000 MT due to increases in the dairy herd and new government projects.
It added that a slowdown in production growth has taken hold in recent years due to the inability to increase the dairy herd, “mostly due to insufficient funding and little investment from the private sector.” — Adrian H. Halili