A new report from Rabobank reveals China’s dairy imports are expected to fall by the double-digits as a result of the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The Dutch multinational bank expects dairy imports will decrease by 19 percent this year. It says a drop off in demand for dairy amid the current pandemic is partly to blame.
Rabobank included the estimates in its Global Dairy Quarterly Q1 2020 report.
The report explains a combination of factors is putting pressure on global dairy markets. These include supply chain disruptions, reduced Chinese imports, and the rising dairy surpluses in export regions.
Dairy Decline Spurs New Dietary Guidelines
In an attempt to combat the country’s decline in milk consumption, four dairy industry associations launched a new set of milk consumption guidelines.
The Milk and Milk-Related Products Consumption Guidelines for Chinese Residents aims to “strengthen public immune resistance” to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Milk and other dairy products are an excellent source of high-quality protein and can also provide a source of vitamin B12, vitamin A, calcium, and other nutrients essential for the human body,” the associations said in a statement.
“So a higher intake of these products for those low in protein, especially when higher immune resistance is required to fight the novel coronavirus, will be very beneficial,” the associations added.
Livestock Industry Disrupted By Coronavirus
The current pandemic is greatly affecting livestock industries around the world.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is under pressure to keep slaughterhouses open amid the outbreak. However, the pandemic could lead to closures.
On Monday—in an attempt to assuage meat producers—the USDA announced slaughterhouses across the country would stay open. It said slaughterhouses would remain staffed with federal inspectors.
Chicken sales in India plummeted by nearly 50 percent due to a rumored link between poultry and the coronavirus.
Consumers in India are now wary of consuming chicken and other animal products. As a result, the price of chicken fell by 70 percent.
Top chicken supplier Godrej Agrovet Ltd. said sales decreased from 75 million to around 40 million birds per week in the last month.