China imported 1.956 million tons of dairy products during the entire year of 2016, a year-on-year increase of 21.4%, according to a report from China's Ministry of Agriculture.
During 2016, the imports of milk reached 634,100 tons, a year-on-year increase of 38%; while the imports of yogurt was 21,000 tons, a year-on-year increase of 104.3%. In addition, the import of whey powder, cream, cheese, and milk powder all reached over 10% increases.
Milk powder from New Zealand was the most popular in China. In 2016, China imported 503,600 tons of milk powder from New Zealand, accounting for 83.3% of total imported milk powder of the country.
In regards to dairy products export, China's total dairy export was 30,900 tons in 2016, a year-on-year decrease of 7.2%; however, its dairy export value saw a year-on-year increase of 6.7%.
The report also showed that though China's annual dairy import increased in 2016, it showed a trend of decline in December. Statistics from Chinese customs revealed that in December 2016, China's dairy import decreased by 9.1% compared with the previous month.