According to analysts, at present the buyers of Russian serum are mainly from neighboring countries, primarily Kazakhstan. For 10 months 4.4 thousand tons (4.5 times more than in 2019) were exported to this country at a cost of $3.6 million. (3.7 times more). Another 392 tons for 266 thousand dollars was shipped to Uzbekistan, while in 2016-2019 the supplies to this country were practically not carried out. The third place is occupied by Ukraine, which bought 225 tons of whey (4.3 times more) for 179 thousand dollars. (2.6 times more). Belarus (162 tons by 107 thousand dollars) and Kyrgyzstan (147 tons by 95 thousand dollars) also increased their purchases.
Dairy whey is a by-product in the production of cheese, cottage cheese and casein, but it has significant nutritional value in itself. The whey contains up to half of milk powder, 95% lactose, 20% protein and up to 10% milk fat, which can be used in children's, sports and specialized nutrition, as an additive in the food industry, and for feeding farm animals.
FAO estimates that between 2017 and 2019 the world produced more than 3.1 million tons of whey powder annually, and by 2029 this amount will reach 3.5 million tons. The world's leading cheese producers are also the largest producers of dry whey: these are the European Union countries with a combined share of 59% and the United States with a share of about 15%.
These same countries are the main whey exporters. Thus, according to the statistics of ITC Trade Map, in 2019 the U.S. sold to foreign markets 404 thousand tons of whey for 510 million dollars, Germany - 425 thousand tons for 476 million dollars, France - 312 thousand tons for 412 million dollars.
The largest importer of dairy whey is China: last year about 18% of world imports in value terms were accounted for by this country. Also among the leading buyers are EU countries (Netherlands, Germany, France), Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan. In general, in 2019, world imports of whey amounted to 3.2 million tons for a total of 3.3 billion dollars.
According to FAO forecast, in the next decade the volumes will increase at a significant rate, largely due to the demand for baby and specialized nutrition. Global imports of whey powder alone are expected to grow by 30 percent from the 2017-2019 average to 2.1 million tonnes by 2029. Including China over the next 10 years will increase purchases of dry whey by 40% to 718 thousand tons, Indonesia - by 43% to 187 thousand tons, the Philippines - twice to 132 thousand tons.
At present, the cheese whey produced in Russia is processed and mainly consumed in the domestic market. As for the curd whey, about half of the received volume is sent for processing, told "Agroexport" General Director of "Soyuzmoloko" Artem Belov. However, with the development of dairy enterprises and investment in modern technology, Russia will increase production and can occupy its niche in global exports of whey and whey products. "If we take the cheese segment, in the next 3-4 years in Russia it is planned to implement projects with a total cheese production volume of about 250-300 thousand tons. Almost each of these projects involves investment in its own drying complex and whey powder production. Part of this volume will be exported," Belov noted.
According to Belov, among exchange-dried products, whey is one of the key products for export development. "Even now Russia can be competitive and develop sales at the markets of East and South-East Asia, Middle East, etc.", - he believes.
In 2020, the Chinese market was opened for Russian dairy products. According to Belov, it is expected that the first deliveries will be made at the end of this year - beginning of next year. A significant event was also the recent opening of the Algerian market (in 2019 this state imported milk powder and whey for almost 1 billion dollars). In addition, Russian producers may be interested in Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, reports the data of agricultural exports PionerProdukt