Russia Milk Output Hopes Drop, Buck World Trend
The Moscow bureau of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has warned that Russia will not be able to stabilize the country’s milk output which has been steadily declining since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In contrast with other major milk producing nations, the bureau forecasts that Russia’s milk output will fall 1.16 million tons year on year to be 30.5 million tons for 2014. This is 900,000 tons below the USDA’s original official estimate and the lowest production level on record since 1988. Just before the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian milk production was 54.5 million tons per year according to the USDA. In contrast, China’s milk production for 2014 is up 5%, New Zealand’s output for the first 11 months of 2013/14 to April increased by 10%, and EU production increased by 3.7% in March However, U.S. production has been increasing at a slower rate of 1%. The bureau states that Russia’s decline in production is caused by a lack of financing which it warns could negatively affect grain production in the country as well. Russian imports of fluid milk are expected to be lower than USDA estimates also - caused in part by the country’s April ban on imports from six Ukrainian dairy producers.
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