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Argentina milk and dairy products

Most of the milk production comes from the central region of the country called Pampas. The farming is all pasture based and is heavily dependent on rainfall. The dairy industry has to compete with other agro based products such as soybean, maize and other agro crops for land. Most of the farmers grow crops on rotation basis and generally allocate a significant portion of land for this purpose. The dairy industry is susceptible to the changes in the profitability for both these markets. Out of the total costs involved in the dairy production, direct/variable costs represent almost¬ 60%, with feed being the major cost followed by the labour cost. Among the feed costs, grain constituted 40% and maize silage 13% of the direct cost. The opportunity cost for land constituted 13% of the total cost.

The cow milk production in the country showcased a CAGR of 3.7% during the historical period from 2007-2009. The market volume of cow milk production increased from 9,400 thousand tonnes in 2007 to 10,100 thousand tonnes in 2009. The historical increase in the cow milk production is expected to continue in the future as well.
Milk production per cow has also increased in Argentina over the years. New improved cow breeds, efficiency in operations, improved quality of raw material have all contributed to the increase in the milk production. During the period from 2007-2009, the milk production per cow increased from 4,372 litres in 2007 to 4,810 litres in 2009, registering a high CAGR of 4.9%. However, the forecasted period might not be able to achieve the same CAGR as achieved in the historical period. In the period from 2009-2015, the milk production per cow is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.3% and the production per cow will reach 5,201 litres in 2015.

Cheese is one of the most important dairy products constituting nearly 45% of the total milk production. Soft / Fresh types (Cremoso, Saint Paulin and Mozzarella) dominate the cheese categories constituting 45% of the total cheese market. Semi soft cheese (Gouda, Swiss type) hold 30% of the market share followed by hard cheese (Provolone and Sardo) accounting for 15% of the market. Other types of cheese account for the remaining 10%.Cheese is the second largest dairy product produced in terms of quantity in the country after milk drinks and fermented products. In the year 2009, the production declined marginally and reached 534 thousand tonnes. During the period from 2007-2009, the production increased at a CAGR of 6.0%. The production is likely to witness a steady growth of 2.8% during the period from 2009-2015.

Whey powder production increased at a moderate growth of 19.0% during the period from 2007-2008. In 2009, the growth was revolutionized with an exorbitant increase in growth rate. The production jumped from 25 thousand tonnes in 2008 to 72 thousand tonnes in 2009. The production in the foregoing years is expected to be steady at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2009-2015. This is largely due to increasing utility of whey powder in the processing of animal protein, nutritional supplements, cheese etc and awareness among producers, which was otherwise considered waste in the past. This segment is expected to remain niche and will experience rapid growth in the coming years.

In Argentina, skim milk powder is one of the least consumed dairy products. Most of the skim milk powder produced is exported to other regions. During the three years from 2007-2009, the consumption of skim milk powder only registered an increase of 1 thousand tonnes. The consumption increased from 9 thousand tonnes in 2007 to 10 thousand tonnes in 2009. In the future as well, the consumption of skim milk powder will increase marginally. The consumption is expected to increase from 10 thousand tonnes in 2009 to 14 thousand tonnes in 2015, an increase of 4 thousand tonnes in 6 six years time.

Argentina exports nearly 20% of the total milk and dairy products production. For whole milk powder, Argentina is ranked as the third largest exporter and exported 140,000 tonnes in the previous year. Although, the products are exported across the globe, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico are the major markets.
Butter had the minimum trade surplus among all the other dairy products in the country. In 2007, the butter net trade increased from 3 thousand tonnes in 2007 to 4 thousand tonnes in 2008 but declined in 2009 to the same level of 2007.

by S. C.
04 july 2011, World News > America

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