Vasyl Vintonyak, director Infagro analytical agency, commented on the results of dairy trade for the first half of the year. – INFAGRO
This year, over 500 thousand tons of milk products in milk equivalent will be purchased from abroad. Since last year, in terms of money, imports have already been dominated by exports as Ukraine sells mainly inexpensive milk-containing products or dry goods, but imports expensive cheeses. For example, in the first half of the year, dairy products worth almost 150 million dollars (13% more compared to last year) were brought to Ukraine, but this is without taking into account powdered baby food, the volumes of which are very significant.
Imports of dairy products continue to grow this year, but the growth rate has slowed down. There is also a decrease in imports figures for some products. It was purchased 7% less of hard / semi-hard cheeses in comparison to last year volumes (9.7 thousand tons). In the first half of the year butter purchases fell by almost two times to 3 thousand tons. But this should not considered as something very encouraging, in the second half of the year its purchases will become more active again.
However, imports of white cheeses continue to grow (+36% to 8.3 thousand tons), purchases of processed cheese have increased by 14% to 2.7 thousand tons.
In general, the share of European cheese in Ukrainian market is now quite significant, this creates a huge competition for domestic cheese makers. According to preliminary estimates of Infagro, this year importers have already taken more than 35% of rennet cheese market. Although imports of fresh dairy products have grown by another third, it still does not pose a big threat to Ukrainian producers. According to Infagro estimates, in the first half of a year the share of imported fresh dairy products in total sales structure is about 3%. But imports will continue to grow.