Powdered milk in China

In the article, we will tell you about a product that, for specific reasons, has become one of the most imported in China. This is Powdered Milk. To begin with, China is now one of the leaders in the production and consumption of milk, but this has not always been the case. In 1999, a nationwide campaign was launched in China, the goal of which was to teach all children to drink milk every day in order to catch up and surpass in height and weight peers from other countries, and especially from Japan.

The PRC government supported the domestic dairy market by subsidizing the growth in the production of raw milk, which is still in short supply in China today. The annual increase in milk production in China is about 20 percent. In 2021, China plans to increase consumption of dairy products by 5%, to 34,5 million tons. These forecasts were made by experts from the US Department of Agriculture. However. Although China is the second largest economy in the world by GDP, it has not had quality and safe milk for many years.

No one would have thought that China, a huge agricultural country with a traditional crop, would not be able to afford safe domestic milk. 20 years of economic development caused an existential crisis and placed the Chinese people in a dire situation.

A little about milk production

Traditionally, in addition to low milk yields, farmers have another problem, the seasonality of milk production; in winter, the production of raw milk falls by half or three times. Powdered milk, which is harvested in the summer season, helps to fill the shortage. During severe seasonal fluctuations, milk powder is an important stabilizing stock for processors. It is harvested at their own drying plants in the summer, when the supply of raw milk is excessive, thereby saving agricultural producers from overproduction and a catastrophic drop in prices. It is produced in the same way as all other dairy products, from raw milk.

Powdered milk is used not only for milk recovery, but also in the production of sausages, ice cream and confectionery. In these industries, you cannot do without milk powder.

Surprisingly, reconstituted milk is more expensive than regular milk. However, there is nothing to be surprised at, the price of milk powder is derived from the cost of raw milk. First, it must be dried, and then restored - these are additional costs for electricity, labor, depreciation of equipment (it takes about six hours for one drying cycle), long-term storage, etc. It is necessary to control the quality of milk powder, which is certainly done for raw milk.

Powdered milk is convenient because it can be prepared in advance, stored for a long time and is easy to transport. Everyone, both producers and processors, knows that in winter there will not be enough raw milk and it will be impossible to satisfy the increased demand for dairy products. And milk is a product of daily consumption, it is included in the grocery basket of every person.

Powdered milk does not differ from raw milk in terms of fat, protein and lactose content. Mineral substances are completely transferred into it from raw milk. Reconstituted milk contains slightly less B vitamins and a significant part of vitamin C is lost, since milk is dried at high temperatures, and vitamin C does not withstand heat treatment.

Now the Chinese market is seeing an increase in demand for milk powder, it has an annual growth rate of about 22%, this is a factor prompting China to buy imported milk powder.

The existing local milk is not very popular in China. One of the reasons for this was the so-called "melamine scandal" in 2008, when it was revealed that a number of Chinese food manufacturers were adding melamine to their products in order to increase the measured protein concentration, as a result of which products, including widely used powdered milk formulas for infants became hazardous to health. Although melamine is considered to be a low-toxic substance, a number of studies have obtained data on malignant diseases and the formation of stones in the urinary system with prolonged consumption of food containing ultra-high concentrations of melamine. It was also reported that the total number of children poisoned by low-quality dairy products was about 300 thousand, of which 53 thousand were in China, six children died and 100 were in critical condition.

Currently, imported milk powder is considered a luxury item in China and even a status symbol. Many Chinese people spend a lot of money buying imported milk powder as gifts for family and friends. The Chinese themselves explain the popularity of imported milk powder by the fact that local milk powder is of poor quality, and after drinking it, the child will have stomach upset, while imported milk will not. Considering also that Chinese families are already allowed to have a second child, it can be concluded that the demand for quality milk formula will increase. Now foreign milk powder is so popular that it takes 70 to 80% of the milk powder market in China. People are ready to overpay, but buy high-quality imported milk. 

For these and other reasons, including a gradual increase in the number and an increase in the well-being of the Chinese population, imported milk is a priority for the Chinese. Not so long ago, Russian products began to enter the Chinese market. The combination of factors - growing demand, the confidence of Chinese consumers in Russian producers, open up great opportunities for Russian exporters of dairy products.

In 2018, China and Russia jointly signed an agreement to export dairy products to the Chinese market. According to statistics, in 2019, Russia exported 480 tons of dairy products to China for a total of US $ 919000. However, then milk powder was not included in the list of dairy products export in the agreement. Therefore, the permission to export milk powder to China in the fall of 2020 opens up very great prospects, and this is very good news for producers of high-quality Russian milk powder.

Features of the export of milk powder to China

Despite the huge demand of the Chinese food industry for dairy products export milk powder to China is complicated by a number of circumstances.

The Chinese authorities have imposed restrictions on imported milk. The PRC government tried to switch the demand for foreign raw materials to domestic products and support the sales of Chinese companies.

Foreign manufacturers are required to register their products, factories and warehouses before their products can enter the Chinese domestic market. The government also obliged manufacturers to supply product labels in Chinese.

How to pass veterinary control for milk powder

The final list of approved Russian dairy enterprises includes only those who at the moment can actually fulfill the requirements of China. Such a tough selection is due to the fact that at the very first violation recorded by the Chinese supervisory authorities, the country may close supplies for the entire list of Russian enterprises.

The Rosselkhoznadzor said the trade in dairy products between Russia and China will include condensed and non-condensed cream, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, whey, butter, cheese, cottage cheese and casein derived from cow's milk, goat's and sheep's milk.

Dairy cattle used to obtain raw milk for exported dairy products must be supplied by farms free of foot and mouth disease, rinderpest and small ruminants, sheep pox, goats and other dangerous diseases; farms must be under the control of the competent authority of the PRC or the state veterinary service of Russia.

For the possibility of exporting dairy products to China, the Russian manufacturer must be included in the list of enterprises admitted to exporting products. You can find a list of approved businesses in Cerberus.

Also, the enterprise must be in the Chinese information system for registering foreign enterprises. CIFer,

Products can only be shipped to China from specially certified warehouses for exporting products, an exporter must have a site in the Argus system to obtain an export permit. 

In addition to information about the competent authority, the sending company and the product in the veterinary certificate for milk and dairy products intended for export from the Russian Federation to the PRC, the exporter must confirm the health certification of the exported product with a health certificate.

After passing all the necessary procedures and observing all the requirements described in detail on the Rosselkhoznadzor website, you submit the Form 2 Veterinary Certificate, which accompanies all dairy products in Russia, and instead of it you receive at the checkpoint veterinary certificate 5d и veterinary health certificate, these documents are required for the export of milk powder to China. You will also need a stamp on the bill of lading to file and issue an export customs declaration.


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