June 14, 2017

Japan Announces Record NFDM Imports

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Tight domestic production and increasing demand has pushed the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to import up to 21,000 metric tons more of nonfat dry milk (NFDM) through March 2018. That’s on top of the 13,000 metric tons of NFDM imports announced for 2017, according to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service report.

Hot, humid temperatures and a series of four typhoons over August and September of last year has significantly impacted production in the Hokkaido region, which produces more than half of all fluid milk and nearly 90% of all fluid milk used for processing in Japan. Ongoing reconstruction of bridges and roads as well as significant damage to pastures, forages and silage crops has continued to affect production. Production outside of Hokkaido has fallen as well.

As production has dropped, demand for fluid milk and yogurt has increased. That, coupled with sufficient butter stocks, contributed to the MAFF decision to increase powder imports. The report stated that MAFF’s ability to import up to 34,000 metric tons of NFDM this fiscal year should alleviate the Japanese dairy product industry’s concerns regarding a possible NFDM shortage.