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China's dairy markets: trends, disparities, and implications for trade


  • Qingbin Wang
  • Robert Parsons
  • Guangxuan Zhang


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review the growth and regional disparities of China's dairy market since 1980, examine urban consumer demand for three major dairy products (fluid milk, yogurt, and milk powder), analyze China's import patterns of major dairy products since 1995, and discuss China's potential roles in the world dairy market and implications for trade. Design/methodology/approach - While the most recently available time-series and cross-sectional data from China are used to analyze the trends and disparities of China's milk production and dairy product consumption through graphical and regression analyses, China's custom data from 1995 to 2008 are used to examine the trends and patterns of China's dairy product imports. Findings - China's dairy market has expanded rapidly in the past two decades but there are significant disparities across regions and income groups. The estimated income elasticities suggest that, as per capita income continues to increase, the demand for dairy products, especially yogurt and fluid milk, is expected to grow at a significant rate. The import trend and pattern analysis indicates that China's dairy imports will likely continue to grow and provide opportunities for major dairy product exporters like the USA, New Zealand, and Australia. Originality/value - The paper contributes to the literature by examining the trends and disparities of China's dairy market using the most recently available data, presenting an estimation of demand elasticities for fluid milk, yogurt, and milk powder in urban China, and discussing the future prospects of China's dairy imports and implications for trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Qingbin Wang & Robert Parsons & Guangxuan Zhang, 2010. "China's dairy markets: trends, disparities, and implications for trade," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(3), pages 356-371, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:356-371

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beghin, John C., 2006. "Evolving dairy markets in Asia: Recent findings and implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 195-200, June.
    2. Wang, Ji-Min & Zhou, Zhang-Yue & Yang, Jun, 2004. "How Much Animal Product do the Chinese Consume? Empirical Evidence from Household Surveys," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 12.
    3. Fan, Shenggen & Cramer, Gail & Wailes, Eric, 1994. "Food demand in rural China: evidence from rural household survey," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 11(1), September.
    4. Wang, Qingbin & Fuller, Frank H. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Halbrendt, Catherine K., 1998. "Chinese Consumer Demand For Animal Products And Implications For U.S. Pork And Poultry Exports," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(01), July.
    5. Bai, Junfei & Wahl, Thomas I. & McCluskey, Jill J., 2008. "Fluid milk consumption in urban Qingdao, China," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(2), June.
    6. Lohmar, Bryan & Gale, H. Frederick, Jr. & Tuan, Francis C. & Hansen, James M., 2009. "China's Ongoing Agricultural Modernization: Challenges Remain After 30 Years of Reform," Economic Information Bulletin 58316, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. David L. Ortega & H. Holly Wang & James S. Eales, 2009. "Meat demand in China," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(4), pages 410-419, August.
    8. Qingbin Wang & Catherine Chan Halbrendt & Helen H. Jensen, 1997. "China's beer consumption and barley imports," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 73-84.
    9. Kuo S. Huang & Fred Gale, 2009. "Food demand in China: income, quality, and nutrient effects," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 1(4), pages 395-409, August.
    10. Dong, Fengxia, 2006. "The outlook for Asian dairy markets: The role of demographics, income, and prices," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 260-271, June.
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    China; Dairy products; Supply and demand; Trade;


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