In 2017, more than 63,000 tons of milk products were exported, an increase of 16% on 2016.
Export of canned milk showed the greatest increase, at 72%. Major markets for the products were Libya (68%) and Hong Kong (12%).
The export of cheese increased by 14%. Lithuanian cheeses were shipped to South Korea (18%), the US (18%) and Armenia (15%).
Chinese ice cream market
Also, new opportunities opened up for the export of ice cream to China. More than 1,100 tons of ice cream was exported. The SFVS said the expectation is that more ice cream will be exported after producers have become established in the market as the consumption of ice cream in China accounts for almost 20% of overall global production.
Compared to 2016, export of other milk products also increased substantially: milk drinks (by 71%), milk powder for human consumption (by 32%), curds (29%), whey (15%), and cheeses and ice cream (14% each) as well as other milk products.
However, the delivery of butter to countries outside of the EU decreased.
New markets opening
Darius Remeika, director of the SFVS, said due to the joint efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and the SFVS, export negotiations are in most cases smooth and professional, and the agreement of veterinary certificates is successful.
“Prior to approval of export permissions, competent specialists from third countries conduct strict checks at farm holdings and establishments in our country,” Remeika said.
“Their favorable opinions and rapid expansion of markets reflect that foodstuffs produced in Lithuania comply with the supreme standards of the European Union and that they are recognized by consumers in many countries.”
In 2017, permission was given to export Lithuanian dairy products to Algeria, Mexico and New Zealand.
Remeika said this year will see further negotiations with China on exports, as well the opening up of the Indonesian market to 12 Lithuanian dairy companies.