Tuesday, October 16, 2018
 EU Dairy Export Focus Shifts From Russia to Far East as Supply Rises  

The European Union is aiming to boost dairy exports to the Far East and parts of Africa as its seeks to cope with increased production and the loss of sales to Russia, EU farm commissioner Phil Hogan has stated.


Hogan said there had been a 5-1/2 percent increase in milk production in the EU last year which coincided with the loss of a key export market, Russia.


Russia banned imports of dairy products from the EU last August as part of its response to EU sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis.


"It (the situation with Russia) is not going to get better in the short term," Hogan, an Irish politician who became EU farm commissioner in November last year, said.


"In my view therefore we have to look outside the conflicts and the geopolitical regions like Russia, Ukraine to see where we can get greater market share and obviously the Far East and parts of Africa are the prime locations and that is where we are concentrating our efforts."


Russia had accounted for about 32 percent of EU cheese exports and 24 percent of butter, according to commission data.


The total value of EU exports of dairy produce was 9.88 billion euros in 2013, representing 8.2 percent of total exports of agricultural products, Commission data showed.


The EU is due to abolish milk quotas at the end of March in a move that could further increase production.


"With the abolition of milk quotas ... there is a fear that there is going to be a massive explosion in milk (production). That is not going to be the case," said Hogan, who was in Birmingham for the National Farmers Union annual conference.


"There are about seven or eight member states that have modest increases in production planned but it requires a lot of investment in order to produce a massive amount of additional milk," he added.


The average milk price in the EU has fallen to around 0.33 euros a liter, down from 0.40 euros a year ago, he said. "The confidence is high that the short-term volatility will go and that in the second half of 2015 prices will pick up again," he said. Hogan also said the EU was planning to review its policy in April on approvals of genetically modified crops.


"I do accept that there has been a rather stagnant approach towards authorization with relation to feed stuffs in particular to GMO crops from the United States and South America," he said, adding science needed to play a more central role in approvals.


"We are reviewing our policy in relation to these matters in April in the Commission and I expect those particular authorizations that are in the system at the moment will be dealt with at that time," Hogan added.


Source: Reuters


Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 (Archive on Thursday, March 05, 2015)
Posted by bholcomb@adpi.org  Contributed by bholcomb@adpi.org