In January, U.S. and Chinese officials agreed upon a new dairy certificate, resolving a longstanding issue and ensuring that U.S. dairy products will continue to enter the growing Chinese market. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service has been issuing new certificates during the 60-day grace period. Starting March 20, China will only accept new certificates for U.S. dairy products.
Since 2010, China has maintained that the previous health certificate, which dates back to 2007, did not meet its requirements and needed to be renegotiated. For the past few years, China had agreed to allow continued imports of U.S. dairy products under the legacy certificate as long as negotiation to resolve the issue continued in good faith.
“We are pleased that IDFA members will continue to have access to our third-largest and one of the fastest growing dairy export markets,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president. “IDFA is grateful to the U.S. interagency team and all industry stakeholders in the United States and China who worked to resolve this important issue.”
According to USDA, the United States exported more than $400 million worth of dairy products to China in 2012. The top goods were lactose ($118 million), whey protein concentrate ($108 million), dry whey ($66 million), skim-milk powder ($42 million) and cheese ($37 million).
"As the Chinese population increases adoption of dairy products in their diet, they will want even more," predicted Ed Jesse, emeritus professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in a recent China Daily report.
The report also noted that China was the third-largest market for U.S. dairy exports by value in 2012 and the second largest as measured by volume. At 255,000 metric tons, U.S. dairy exports to China measure nearly 100,000 tons more than exports to Canada and only 150,000 less than exports to Mexico.
IDFA encourages exporters to contact AMS dairy programs directly with any questions regarding the new certificate. More information is available on the AMS International Marketing website.