India to become world’s largest producer of milk by 2026

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

India is expected to maintain its position as the world's largest butter producer through the forecasted period. ©iStock/Grigorenko
India is expected to maintain its position as the world's largest butter producer through the forecasted period. ©iStock/Grigorenko

Related tags Fresh dairy products Milk

Milk production is expected to accelerate worldwide especially in India where it will grow 49% by 2026, contrasting with the steady decline of milk consumption in developed markets like the US, according to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026.

Fresh dairy consumption showed the most notable growth out of all commodities measured, hitting a record high per capita consumption rate in developing countries.

“Projected growth rates for fresh dairy for the coming decade are higher than those experienced over the past ten years, driven by increasing per capita demand in developing countries, most notably India,”​ the report stated.

The world’s population will increase from 7.3bn to 8.2bn over the nine-year period, with India accounting for 56% of that growth, overtaking China as the world’s most populous country, according to the report.

This growth is the driving factor behind the increase of milk production in India and accounts for the increased demand for fresh dairy products (54%).

By contrast, per capita consumption of fresh dairy products will remain much lower in China and in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as many developed markets.

Processed dairy consumption and trade contracts

Despite renewed interest in consumption of butter and dairy fat in developed countries and more positive health assessments of dairy fat in recent years, the growth in global consumption of processed dairy products is expected to slow down in the next decade to 1.7% annually.

Over the course of the outlook period, the production of processed dairy products is expected to grow between 1.4% per year for cheese and 2.3% annually for skim milk powder (SMP). While the bulk of production of SMP and cheese will occur in developed countries, India will remain the top producer of butter, however it will not be a top player in the export market.

Processed dairy products per capita consumption will remain much lower in Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) and Asia in particular, the report predicted.

“Trade of fresh dairy products will remain limited and, as a result, growth in consumption will have a limited impact on world dairy markets,”​ the report said.

However, overall, agricultural commodities tend to be the more resilient to economic fluctuations and as a result milk powders remain the most traded agricultural commodities and fresh dairy products will continue to be among the least traded.

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Buffalo milk

Posted by Satyajit,

Buffalo milk is higg in fat and if we consider the fcm, with 36% share in the country's total milk, buffalo alone might match total milk produced in US; Surprising tbat the article is considering cow milk only!!

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India Milk

Posted by BV,

Agreed. Hence I do not read much in these reports do not even indicate these

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India Milk

Posted by Dave,

India is already world largest milk producer since 1998. Today it is 164 MMT per annum.
It is unfortunate that Western world is not able to consider buffalo milk!!!

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