The USDA’s Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) report shows predictions that Chinese imports of cheese are expected to reach a record high of 119,000 metric tons in 2020. The report explains that the combination of high production costs and an increased total consumption of cheese will cause China to import cheese from the United States at a higher rate than ever.
Since the United States has the potential to be China’s most prominent dairy supplier, China’s growing demand for cheese and other dairy products creates an even stronger need for a trade agreement to be negotiated. For example, the GAIN report states that Chinese cheese consumption is expected to increase by $1.5 billion over the next five years.
While China’s increasing demand for dairy is promising, the U.S. dairy exports to China are declining due to the retaliatory tariffs the Chinese placed on U.S. dairy products as a result of the Section 301 investigation. From the beginning of the year through April 2019, U.S. dairy export value fell 47 percent.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were in Shanghai this week for another round of trade talks with China. Media reports indicate talks will resume in September.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA’s senior director of international affairs.