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ICRA Sector Research

The Indian Dairy Industry
May 2003

Industry Comment

(ICRA Information, Grading & Research Service)
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Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry


VALUE CHAIN........................................................................................................................... 2

GLOBAL SCENARIO ................................................................................................................ 3

OVERVIEW ............................................................................................................................... 3
PRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 3
CONSUMPTION ......................................................................................................................... 5
INTERNATIONAL TRADE ............................................................................................................. 8
PRICE TRENDS ....................................................................................................................... 10
INDIAN DAIRY INDUSTRY ..................................................................................................... 11
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW .......................................................................................................... 11


GOVERNMENT POLICY AND SUPPORT ....................................................................................... 12
INDUSTRY STRUCTURE ........................................................................................................... 13
PRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 14
CONSUMPTION ....................................................................................................................... 15
FINANCIAL TRENDS ................................................................................................................. 18
ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................................... 19
PROBABLE CHANGE AGENTS ................................................................................................... 21
OUTLOOK ............................................................................................................................... 21

Analyst: Ashish Jain

Dated : May 2003

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Value Chain
The two main activities in the dairy value chain are dairy farming and dairy processing. While
the first activity results in production of raw milk, the latter involves processing raw milk into
products such as processed milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, condensed milk, dried milk (milk
powder), and ice cream, among others using processes such as chilling, pasteurization, and
homogenization. Figure 1 below presents the other links in the value chain. For the dairy
industry to be effective or for a dairy player to be effective, systematic and planned approach is
necessary to enhance efficiency in each of these links. Figure 1 presents a flow chart for
manufacturing of major international dairy products and by-products.

Figure 1
Dairy Industry Value Chain

Genomics Chemical , Farm Grain Feed Dairy Dairy Milk/Dairy Food &
etc Storage Processing Farm Processor Products Ingredients
Compiled by INGRES
Figure 2: Major Dairy Products and by-Products

CEM: Condensed & Evaporated Milk BUT: Butter
WMP: Whole milk powder RES: Residue
SMP: Skimmed milk powder DWH: Dry whey
CAS: Casein CHE: Cheese
Compiled by INGRES

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Global Scenario

Animal milk has contributed to the human diet in many countries across the world since
prehistoric times. There are many animal species supplying milk for human consumption, but
most milk comes from five major mammal species: cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats, and camels.
Buffalo milk production is concentrated in Asia, especially in India. Tradition, dietary habit,
climate and other natural conditions are important factors determining production and
consumption of milk and dairy products for a country or a region. European countries, Arab
countries and South Asia, for example, have a long history of animal milk production and
consumption, whereas milk has traditionally played a less important role in the diet of the people
in East Asia and many African countries. Owing to favourable conditions for dairy farming, New
Zealand, Australia, North and South America have become major milk producing regions.
However, milk production, also referred to as dairy farming, is only one link in the value chain.
On a global basis, only a small percentage of global milk production is consumed in raw form. In
fact, in most developed countries, the amount of raw milk used as such for human consumption
is only 5 to 10 percent. That is, more than 90 percent of the raw milk is processed into derivative
products in these countries. Thus, dairy processing has emerged as a major industry in itself.
The sections below give an overview of the global production and consumption trends.

The global milk production was estimated at 585 million tonnes in 2002. India, EU countries and
United States are the three largest milk-producing countries in the world followed by Russian
Federation. Global milk production changes little from year to year (typically 1 or 2 percent)
because of a number of reasons. First, most milk production is concentrated in developed
countries where the output in many countries such as EU countries, Japan, Canada, Norway
and Switzerland is limited by production constraints. In United States, where the output is not
restricted, there is a long-term trend of increase in milk production by only 1 or 2 percent every
year. Although, this was not the case in 2001 when the milk output in USA declined by 1.32%
before increasing by 3% in 2002. Given that these countries account for around 40% of the
global production, relatively low growth in their output acts as a significant constraint over total
world output. Table 1 below presents the milk production in some major producing countries
and the year-on-year change in their production in the recent past.

Table 1
Milk Production (in million tonnes)
1999 2000 2001 2002 % change in % change in
output in 2001 output in 2002
EC 126 125 126 126.7 0.80% 0.56%
India 77 79 82 82 3.80% 0.00%
United States 74 76 75 77.3 -1.32% 3.07%
Russian Federation 32 32 32 33.5 0.00% 4.69%
Pakistan 23 24 25 27.7 4.17% 10.80%
Brazil 22 22 23 22.7 4.55% -1.30%
New Zealand 13 13 14 13.5 7.69% -3.57%
Ukraine 13 12 12 14 0.00% 16.67%
Poland 12 12 12 12.2 0.00% 1.67%
Australia 11 11 12 11.3 9.09% -5.83%
Argentina 10 9 9 8.2 0.00% -8.89%
Others 153 161 163 163.9 1.24% 0.55%
World 566 576 585 593 1.56% 1.37%
Source: Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO)

The major milk producers that are estimated − actual data is not available yet − to have
witnessed a decline in milk production in 2001 include Brazil, New Zealand and Australia and
Argentina. In Brazil, low returns to farmers in 2001 led to production growth faltering in 2002.
Similarly, the main factor behind the drop in Argentina’s production was farmers leaving the
industry, as production was unprofitable, and a reduction in the use of feed concentrate. In

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Australia and New Zealand, the output is estimated to have declined owing to low rainfall which
affected pasture availability.

Notwithstanding its importance, fluid milk accounts for only one-third of global dairy product
consumption. Other products that form an important part of the global dairy consumption
include whole milk powder (WMP), non-fat dry milk (NDM), butter and cheese. Table 2 below
presents the global production shares for milk and other products. It shows that a country’s milk
production levels do not necessarily explain a country’s share in world production of other dairy
products. For example, while United States produced only 13% of the world’s total milk, it
accounted for 30% of the world’s cheese output. The variance arises because a country’s
product mix is influenced by local demand-mix. For example, a very large share of milk
produced in Europe is processed into cheese as EC accounts for 42% of world cheese
consumption. Finally, various countries have developed specialised processing capabilities and
leverage these capabilities to export to the rest of the world. For example, even though New
Zealand accounted for only 2% of the world milk output, it accounted for 17% of the world WMP
output and more than 35% of total WMP export.

Table 2
Region/country-wise Production Shares - 2002 (% of global production)
Milk WMP NDM Butter Cheese
European Union 21% 27% 30% 28% 44%
United States 13% 1% 20% 9% 30%
New Zealand 2% 17% 7% 6% 3%
Australia 2% 7% 8% 3% 3%
Poland 2% 1% 4% 3% 1%
Canada NA 0% 3% 1% 3%
Brazil 4% 11% 3% 1% 4%
Mexico NA 0% 4% 1% 1%
Japan NA 0% 5% 1% 0%
Russian Federation 6% 4% 4% 4% 2%
Others 50% 32% 12% 41% 8%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Note: Data is provisional and N. A. refers to Not Available
Source: FAO

Some key global dairy production trends are as under:

! Growth trend in milk production likely to continue: The growth trend in milk production
is likely to be maintained. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) projects the world
output to increase from 593 million tonnes in 2002 to 615 million tonnes in 2005. It is
interesting to note that the increase in milk production is anticipated to stem from both,
increase in number of milking animals and higher yields, although the latter would contribute
more to the growth than former. Although all producing country groupings, developed,
transitional or developing are expected to witness growth in yields, milking animal numbers
are likely to grow only in developing countries and in some low cost produces such as New
Zealand and Australia as increasing yields and policies which impose production limits in
some leading developed countries discourage herd growth.
! Shift in milk production towards developing countries: Share of developing countries in
world milk production is growing while that of developed countries is declining. For example,
share of south-east Asia in global milk production has increased from 2% in 1970 to 4% in
2000 while the share of Western Europe declined from 31% to 25% (see Table 3 below).

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Table 3
Region-wise Milk Production – 1970 to 2000 (percentage of world production)
1970 1990 2000
NAFTA 17% 15% 17%
Western Europe 31% 27% 25%
CEEC + CIS 1% 1% 1%
Central America + Caribbean 2% 3% 4%
Maghreb & Near & Middle East 29% 27% 17%
Other Africa 2% 2% 2%
South Asia 8% 13% 18%
South East Asia 2% 3% 4%
South America 5% 6% 9%
Oceania 4% 3% 4%
Total 100% 100% 100%
Compiled by INGRES

An analysis of the shift in production shares reveals that the production is increasing primarily in
the areas where consumption is growing rapidly and in a limited way in low-cost producing
countries that are able to export dairy products without the use of subsidies. Moving ahead,
FAO projects that Asia and Latin America will be the focal point of production growth. In fact in
absolute terms, milk output is expected to experience the greatest expansion in India where the
milk production is projected to grow to 88.4 million tonnes by 2005. Other countries that are also
expected to register a substantial growth in output include Pakistan, China, Argentina, Brazil,
Chile and Uruguay.

Three factors influence the geography of global dairy consumption. As expected, income is the
most fundamental factor. Affluent nations consume larger per capita amounts of dairy products
than do poorer nations. However, there is also a strong dietary influence that shapes the
consumption of dairy products, meaning that nations with comparable per capita incomes may
exhibit dramatically different dairy consumption levels. For example, within the developed world,
European consumption levels greatly exceed those in North America or Australasia. This is
explained by the dietary significance of milk products such as cheeses, yoghurts and other
processed dairy products in European diet. Last, demographics tend to influence dairy
consumption, as young population tends to consume higher per capita volumes than older
population. Figures 3 and 4 below present a geographical and product-wise break-up of world
consumption of dairy products for year 2000.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Figure 3: Geographical Consumption – CY2000 Figure 4: Product-wise consumption – CY2000

(million tonnes milk equivalent) (million tonnes)

Sub-Saharan Other
Middle East & Africa 2%
Skimmed Milk
North Africa Butter Powder
5% Western Europe 3%
2% Whole Milk
Latin America Powder
12% USA & Canada 1%
15% Japan & Korea
South East Asia Freshy
1% products Liquid milk,
8% farm sales
South Asia
Australia & New Liquid milk,
China & Hong Russia & Eukraine Central Europe Zealand
Kong factory sales
10% 6% 1%
2% 42%

Note: Dairy output is usually measured in tonnes of milk solids. One kilogram of milk solids is the equivalent of 8.33
litres of milk.
Compiled by INGRES

Western Europe is the largest consumer of dairy products in the world accounting for 22% of
the total consumption in CY2000. It is followed by South Asia, which accounted for 19%. USA
and Canada are next, together accounting for 15% followed by Latin America, which accounted
for 12%. However, geographical consumption of various dairy product varies. For example,
China is the largest consumer of WMP, EC of NDM and Cheese and India of butter. Figures 5
to 8 below give a country-wise break-up of the market for major dairy products.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Figure 5: World WMP Consumption CY2001 (tonnage) Figure 6: World NDM Consumption CY2001 (tonnage)
Total consumption: 3.06 million tonnes Total consumption: 2.87 million tonnes

New Zealand EC
Others 22%
Poland China 25%
18% 0%
Australia 1% Argentina
1% Ukraine 1%
New Zealand
1% Australia
United States 1%
2% Brazil
4% United States
4% Russian 14%
19% Federation India
Russian 6% 6% Japan Mex ico
4% Algeria
Federation Brazil 8% 10%
4% 17%

Figure 7: World Butter Consumption CY2001 (tonnage) Figure 8: World Cheese Consumption CY2001 (tonnage)
Total consumption: 5.49 million tonnes Total consumption: 12.09 million tonnes

Argentina Others
Brazil New Zealand
Australia 5% New Zealand
2% 1% 0.5% Others
1% Australia 0.2%
Japan Poland 3%
Canada 2%
Ukraine 2% 1%
3% Ukraine
Poland 2%
3% Russian
Russian Federation
Federation Egy pt 3% EC
7% 3% 42%
United States

United States
EC 32%

Source: FAO

Major trends affecting world dairy consumption include:

! Changing shares in global dairy consumption: Consumption of diary products in

developed countries is near saturation. This is partly because of already high per capita
levels of dairy product consumption in these countries and their demographic profile. Most
developed countries are facing ageing population that consume less per capita dairy
products than young people do. Therefore, moving ahead, any growth in dairy product
consumption in developed countries is expected to be marginal and mainly associated with
changes in the type and form of dairy products consumed (drink less milk, consume more
cheese) and limited population growth. Therefore, developing countries are expected to be
the major drivers of milk demand growth. Demand in these countries is expected to grow at
approximately 3 percent per year till 2005. These countries as a whole are characterised by
low levels of per capita milk consumption (42 kilograms per person per year), which is
approximately 20% of the average for developed countries. With rising incomes and

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

increasing presence of other conditions conducive to dairy consumption, the consumption

amongst this group of countries is likely to grow the strongest.
! Increasing importance of brands: The share of branded dairy products in total dairy
product consumption is on the increase world-wide.
! Increasing use of dairy products as an ingredient: Consumption of dairy products as
ingredients in other foods is on the rise. For example, dairy products are key ingredients in
pizzas. As these food industries grow, they become important drivers of total dairy product
consumption. Another important facet of this trend is that, through these foods new dairy
products have been introduced. This is especially important in countries where western
dairy products such as processed cheese do not form part of the national cuisine. Cheese
is an interesting case in point. In countries where there is no tradition of cheese
consumption, cheese is viewed by the average consumer as being smelly and bad tasting.
However with the spread of food chains, cheese albeit mild varieties, has gained a much
more positive image. This subtle penetration creates major opportunities internationally for
what is referred to as the food-service market.

International Trade
Only around 10-12% of annual dairy production is traded annually. In fact, international dairy
trade absorbs only about 5 percent of the cow's milk produced globally. This rather low share of
trade in world production is a historical phenomenon. Traditionally, dairy farms and processing
facilities have been located close to the end-markets. There are strong constraints to the trade
of milk and dairy products because of perishable nature and bulkiness of dairy products.
Therefore, the industry as a whole has remained relatively geographically dispersed. Further,
protection in the form of quotas, tariff barriers and other barriers has been a part of the
international dairy industry since decades affecting the world trade in dairy products. However,
certain areas, which are particularly suited to dairy production (with suitable climate and easy
access to water and feed), have developed specialist dairy processing expertise. Figure 9 below
presents world import-mix for CY2000 and highlights that the trade is mainly in major
manufactured and storable dairy products — dry milk powders, butter and cheese — with some
trade in fluid milk products, ice cream, yoghurt, and dry whey products. The proportion of
production of these products traded internationally is much higher than that of milk as a whole.

Figure 9
World Dairy Import by Product – CY2000

Ice-cream Others
4% 0%

dehy drated and
condensed milk


Compiled by INGRES

Global dairy trade has followed a historical pattern of products moving from surplus countries to
deficit countries. Producers with net exportable surpluses include USA, EU, NZ, Australia,
Argentina, and Uruguay. Those with an historical net deficit and important dairy importers
include Algeria, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Middle East, China and Russia/NIS, whilst EU and USA
are important by virtue of their size and value. Figures 10 and 11 below present a break-up of
country-wise global dairy export and import in CY2000.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Figure 10: Dairy export by region in CY2000 (value terms) Figure 11: Dairy import by region in CY2000 (value terms)
Total: US$ 26.4 billion Total: US$ 26.7 billion

Italy Germany
Netherlands Germany Africa 9% 10% France Others
11% 16% 5% 8% 1%

Belgium - Lux .
Australia & New
Asia 8%
Zealand France
14% 14% Canada
1% South America Roy aume - Uni
3% 6%
Other European United Kingdom Central America
countries US Netherlands
4% & West Antilles Other European
Denmark Belgium - Lux . Ireland 6%
15% countries 3%
5% 7% 4% 5%
Source: FAO

Government intervention in world dairy trade

Government intervention plays a dominant role in world dairy trade. Government in both
developed and developing countries intervene heavily in production and distribution of dairy
products. Government intervention, which is particularly heavy in European Union and United
States, is discussed here.

European Union
The European Union supports dairy prices using a combination of import restrictions, minimum
price supports, government purchasing of stocks and subsidised disposal of surplus production.
So large is the amount of excess EU production that enters world markets - representing about
50 per cent of all internationally traded dairy product - that it is the greatest single distortion of
commercial conditions in international dairy trade. Specific policy tools used by the EU are as

! Government purchasing and subsidised disposal of surpluses: Government purchases

butter, skim milk powder, and certain varieties of cheese at announced intervention prices,
which in turn support a target price of raw milk. The surplus dairy products are directed into
other food industries with subsidies, or dumped into international markets through food aid
programs or subsidised exports.
! Production quotas: Persistent domestic production surpluses and budgetary difficulties
prompted the EU to control the milk production in its member countries. Milk production
quotas have been signed to each milk farmer since 1984. An almost prohibitive levy is
imposed on the over-quota milk production.
! Export & import: The EU uses a variable import levy to keep foreign goods to discourage
imports and to maintain domestic dairy prices. The EU also provides export subsidies.
! Inventory management: The EU Commission also runs a Private Storage Aid system to
smooth out seasonal disparities between the cycles of butter production and consumption
patterns. This aid consists of an interest rate subsidy and subsidies to the storage costs. In
addition, the EU also subsidises skim milk powder for animal feeding and for casein

United States
The U.S. government currently uses the following major farm programs in the dairy sector.

! Price support for some manufacturing goods: A government agency, the Commodity Credit
Corporation (CCC) purchases surplus butter, skim milk powder, and cheddar cheese from
processors at specified prices, which in turn maintains a minimum milk support price at a
targeted level. The price support policy was to be terminated in year 2000 under 1996
Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act. However, Farm Security and

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Rural Investment Act, 2002 which was promulgated in May 2002, provides for continuation
of the existing Milk Price Support Programme (MPSP). Under this, the CCC is committed to
buy unlimited quantities of butter, cheese and non-fat dry milk (i.e. skimmed milk powder)
from dairy plants at prices that enables them to pay a minimum support price for the milk
supplied by farmers. Additionally, the Act also provides for a National Dairy Market Loss
Payment Scheme under which if prices of class I milk for beverage use go below the target
level in Boston, then dairy farmers all over the country will be given direct payments
covering 45% of the difference between the higher target price and lower market price.
! Export & import: The government uses import quotas and tariffs to protect domestic
producers from the competition of other countries. Further, under the Dairy Export Incentive
Program (DEIP) the Government pays cash to exporters as bonuses, allowing them to sell
certain U.S. dairy products at prices lower than the exporter's costs of acquiring them. All
US sales of subsidised dairy product take place at a price, which is historically below the US
domestic (wholesale) price, and usually below the world price. This makes it extremely
difficult for other exporters to compete on a level footing without export assistance. DEIP
expenditures have declined over the past few years, thanks to the negotiations under WTO.

Price trends
Figure 12 below plots High and Low Free-on-Board prices in North Europe for some key dairy
products for the period January 2002 to April 2003.

Figure 12
High and Low Free on Board prices in North Europe (US$ / MT): Jan 2002 - Mar 2003

World NDM Prices ($/MT) World WMP Prices ($/MT)

2000 2000
1800 1800

1600 1600
1400 1400

1200 1200

1000 1000


Jan. 02

Jan. 03





Jan. 02

Jan. 03



Year N. Europe Low FOB Year N. Europe High FOB Year N. Europe Low FOB Year N. Europe High FOB

World Cheese Prices ($/MT) World Butter Prices ($/MT)

2200 1450
2000 1350
1900 1250
1700 1150
1400 950



Jan. 02

Jan. 03

Jan. 02

Jan. 03




N. Europe Low FOB N. Europe High FOB N. Europe Low FOB N. Europe High FOB

Source: U. S. Department of Agriculture

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Indian Dairy Industry

Historical Overview

Milk and milk products have been historically widely available in rural India. However, with the
growth in population and urbanisation there was a rapid increase in the demand for milk and
milk products in urban areas where these items were not produced in large quantities. Milk and
milk products produced in rural areas were not available for sale in urban areas because of two

! milk produced in rural areas was generally consumed by the farmer or bartered and
generally not considered saleable; and
! as the villages were self-sufficient, there was no long distance movement of milk, and
therefore, no long distance milk transport infrastructure.

This demand-supply imbalance worsened as the production of milk could not keep pace with
the increasing demand because of factors such as rising population pressure on land,
fragmentation of land holdings, and decrease in pasture. This resulted in the widespread
adulteration of milk and rising prices for milk and milk products in urban India. The Government
responded by implementing schemes aimed at increasing milk production in rural areas. Two
schemes, which involved the setting up of captive cattle colonies around the big cities for the
supply of milk, and the establishment of Government Milk Schemes for collecting milk through
vendors and contractors, proved largely ineffective.

Operation Flood
Launched in 1976, Operation Flood (OF) was implemented in three phases: OF I (1970-81), OF
II (1978-85) and OF III (1985-96). The modus operandi was to organise small farmers into co-
operatives, provide them with a steady year-round market and a remunerative price, and make
inputs for the enhancement of milk production available. At the same time, the programme
established the milk transport infrastructure to transfer milk to the milk-deficit urban areas. The
co-operative pattern of dairying started in Gujarat and was later adopted by a large number of
States across the country. The pattern is organised and operates as under:

− At the Village Level, there are dairy co-operative societies (DCSs) with members drawn
from the village milk producers. The DCSs conduct the routine business of collecting, testing
and paying milk producers for the supply of milk. The societies also provide micro-level inputs
like cattle feed, fodder seed, veterinary services and artificial insemination services for
improving milk yields.

− At the District Level, there is a milk union of village DCSs. The unions are responsible for
transporting, processing and marketing milk and its by-products. The milk unions also guide
and supervise the village DCSs in accordance with the model bylaws and guidelines.

− At the State Level, there is a co-operative milk marketing federation of the milk unions of
the State. As the apex body, it co-ordinates the work of the milk unions and implements
marketing programmes.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Figure 13: Milk Production and Per Capita Milk Availability – India

Production (Million Tonnes) - LHS Per Capita Availibilty (gms/day)

90 250
70 200
20 50
0 0

Source: National Dairy Development Board, India

Government policy and support

• Government support: Although there is no system of subsidised milk procurement by the

government as in the grain market, government and co-operative plants have received large
financial grants and subsidies from State governments in the past. The government frequently
compensates co-operative/government plants for their cash losses.

• Production: Large scale milk processing was de-licensed in 1991. However, subsequent to
delicensing, the Government promulgated Milk and Milk Products Order (MMPO), 1992 under
the provisions of the Essential Commodity Act, 1955. The objective of MMPO was to 1)
increase the supply of liquid milk of desired quality, 2) ensure quality through inspection of
premises and certification, and 3) maintain a database on the status of the organised dairy
sector. However, the operation of MMPO was by and large limited to the registration of units.
The order required that the large scale processing units (any dairy plant handling more than
10,000 litres of milk per day or 500 tonne of milk solids per year) could operate only after
obtaining a license from the government. The government, on the other hand, granted these
licenses based on the government’s calculation of what the difference between the sizes of the
marketable milk surplus in any area is, while keeping in mind the processing capacity already
installed. Thus, this helped reduce the competitive pressure on incumbents and permitted many
sub-scale, obsolete and inefficient players to survive. After the recent amendment, registration
of dairy plants under the MMPO, 1992, will no longer be on the basis of milk processing and
handling capacity but purely for ensuring sanitary and hygienic conditions and quality of
products. The provision for inspection of dairy plants has been made flexible for this purpose.
However, the provision of food safety and quality has been made applicable to even small
business enterprises. Earlier, only these provisions covered those handling over 10,000 litres of
milk per day. Under the order, the powers of the state registering authorities have been
increased. The authorities will now be able to grant registration to plants with a capacity of up to
0.2 million litres per day, against 0.1 million litres earlier. The registration procedure will be
completed in 45 days.

• Export: Export of milk and milk products from India are permitted. However, the
Government notifies quantitative ceilings for export of powder milk, infant milk food, pure milk
ghee and butter. Further, registration cum allocations certificate from Agricultural and
Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

• Import: Milk and dairy products became freely available from April 1, 2001 after the
Government did away with quantitative restriction on a host of products under its agreement
with the United States. The current customs duty on some major dairy products and the bound

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

duty (that committed by India under the WTO) is presented in Table 4 below: It is important to
note that although the peak customs duty was reduced from 30% to 25% in the Union Budget of
2003-2004, the duty on dairy products hitherto attracting 30% customs duty remained

Table 4
Current Basic Customs Duty and Bound Customs Duty on select dairy products
Product Current basic Bound
customs duty duty
Milk and cream
(not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other
sweetening matte)
-Of a fat content, by weight, not exceeding 1% 30 100
-Of a fat content, by weight, exceeding 1% but not 30 100
exceeding 6% 30 40
-Of a fat content, by weight, exceeding 6%
Milk powder
-In powder, granules or other solid forms 60
Note: Upto 10,000 tonnes of the powders mentioned 60
above can be imported at a basic customs duty of 15%
-Not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter 40
Yoghurt 30 150
Butter 40 40
Cheese (all major varieties) 30 40
Compiled by INGRES

Industry Structure
The two most important activities in the dairy value chain in India include dairy farming and dairy
processing. Dairy farming results in raw milk while dairy processing results in processed milk
products. The dairy farming sector in India is almost entirely in the unorganised sector, which
can be further segmented into two groups. The first group dominates milk production in India
and comprises millions of small farmers that usually own 1 or 2 milch animals and undertakes
dairy farming on a part time basis. The second group comprises full time, commercial dairy
farmers that usually own ten or more milch animals and are usually located near urban towns
and cities. As far as dairy processing is concerned, four types of players undertake the dairy
processing activity in India:

! Co-operatives: Dairy co-operatives account for the major share of processed liquid milk
marketed in the country. Milk is processed and marketed by 170 Milk Producers'
Cooperative Unions, which federate into 15 State Co-operative Milk Marketing Federations
which are as under.

− Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Ltd (APDDCF)

− Bihar State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (COMPFED)
− Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF)
− Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Ltd. (HDDCF)
− Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (HPSCMPF)
− Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (KMF)
− Kerala State Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (KCMMF)
− Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd (MPCDF)
− Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Maryadit Dugdh Mahasangh (Mahasangh)
− Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (OMFED)
− Pradeshik Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd (UP) (PCDF)
− Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (MILKFED)
− Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd (RCDF)
− Tamilnadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd (TCMPF)
− West Bengal Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd. (WBCMPF)

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

! Private organised sector players: These are few in number and are mainly engaged in
production of processed milk products. For instance, Nestle India Limited.
! Government owned plants: Owned and managed by central or state governments
! Small players from the unorganised sector: These players number in thousands and usually
produce traditional Indian milk products such as ghee and khoa, among others.

India is the largest producer of milk in the world. However, the country attained this position only
in 1998-99 prior to which United States led the world in milk production. With one-sixth of the
cattle and one-half of the world buffalo population of the world (see Figure 14) the country has
the largest population of bovine stock in the world. In other words, the country has the largest
dairy farming “plant’ in the world.

Figure 14
No of milch cows (‘000s)








Source: FAO

Milk production in India more or less remained stagnant from 1950 to 1970 when the production
grew at the rate of a mere 1 per cent per annum. Thereafter, it increased rapidly, reaching 82
million tones in FY2002. The sharp increase in milk production was made possible by Operation
Flood, which raised the milk yielding capacity of milch bovines by improved bovine stock and
proper feeding. However, as depicted in Figure 15 below, Indian per animal yield is still low as
compared to other nations. For example, Indian yields are just 12% of the yields in Japan.
Indian yields also compare poorly to other developing countries such as China and Brazil. Thus,
there is a huge potential to increase the country’s output if the yields can be increased.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Figure 15
Milk Production Per Cow in Year 2002 (Metric

6 4.8
3.9 3.7 3.6
4 3.1
1.4 1.0








Source: FAO

The factors that influence the yield include the species of milk animal, the diet given to animals
and animal husbandry practices. Nondescript cows dominate Indian milch animal population,
which effectively sets a limit on milk per animal. The diet given to milk animals in India is largely
based of crop residues such as wheat/paddy straw, millet and stovers among others. Use of
crop residues as feed has a two-fold impact on productivity. First, use of this feed affects the
yield per animal. Second, as Indian agriculture continues to depend largely on the monsoon
rains, the availability of crop residues is highly seasonal. Therefore, milk production in the
country is also seasonal rather than evenly spread throughout the year. This, ‘bunching’ of
production also affects overall productivity. Further, most dairy farmers follow primitive animal
husbandry practices and there is little exposure to ways that can improve animal yield.

Increasing dairy consumption: According to FAO, fluid milk consumption in the country
increased from 32 million tonnes in FY1998 to 33.3 million tonnes in FY2002. Butter
consumption increased from 1.47 million tonnes to 2.25 million tonnes in the same period.
Similarly, NDM consumption increased from 0.1 million tonnes to 0.18 million tonnes during the
period. It is estimated that market for other processed dairy products also increased during the
period. It is difficult to the trend in traditional dairy product consumption because data is not
readily available. The main factor driving the increase in consumption is the increase in
country’s per capita income levels. ICRA’s analysis of consumer expenditure data collected by
National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has shown that as households climb up the
income ladder, there is a re-allocation of expenditure towards milk and milk products, both in
rural and urban India. As a result, milk and milk products tend to account for higher shares of
the total expenditure on food, as income increases. This phenomenon is depicted in Figure 16
below which plots monthly consumer expenditure on milk and milk products for various
household expenditure classes. The Figure shows that as monthly household expenditure
increases, that on milk on milk products increases at an increasing rate.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Figure 16
Monthly Per Capita Expenditure on Milk & Milk products
160 25%


100 15%

60 10%


0 0%
Low High
MPCE on Milk & Milk Products - Rural (LHS) MPCE on Milk & Milk Products - Urban (LHS)
% of total MPCE on food - rural (RHS) % of total MPCE on food - urban (RHS)

Note: MPCE = Monthly Per Capita Expenditure

Source: NSS Surveys

Disparities in regional consumption: Dairy product consumption is not uniform across the
country. The regional disparity in the consumption of milk products exists because of the
disparity in incomes and milk availability, which have influenced and shaped consumption
habits. Thus, while 57% of the total ghee consumption is concentrated in North India, Western
India accounts for 23% of the consumption. The consumption of butter also shows a similar
pattern where North India accounts for 52%, Western India for 18% and Eastern India for 21%
of the total consumption. Thus, South India accounts for just 10% of the markets for ghee and
butter. In the case of milk powders, the eastern region dominates with a share of 41%.

Figure 17
Region-wise share of the market for milk products
(% of national consumption in value terms)




Milk Powders Baby Food Pure Ghee Butter Ice-cream Total FMCG
North East West South
Compiled by INGRES

Fluid milk market: The total consumption of liquid milk in the country is currently estimated at
33 mt, accounting for 45% of the total milk production. Plain milk accounts for the major share
of the liquid milk market and is consumed either as a beverage or as an ingredient in tea or
coffee. There is a small market for flavoured milk in the country, which consists largely of
products offered by dairy co-operatives or local players. However, the flavoured milk segment
has witnessed some activity in the last one year as some large private sector players (notably,
Britannia Industries Limited and Nestle India Limited) have launched flavoured milk processed
using the Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) technology in tetrapacks. Asceptic milk refers to milk
processed using UHT technology and sold in aseptic packaging (typically tetrapacks). UHT
processing combined with aseptic packaging results in a product with a long shelf life—usually
three to six months. Although GCMMF first launched aseptic milk in 1987, it withdrew the
product in 1990. A study conducted by Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Cooperative

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Federation Limited revealed that the product awareness of asceptic milk was relatively low. The
use was largely restricted to households in the upper middle class or above brackets, who knew
about the product attributes and were willing to pay a premium for it. (UHT milk retails for Rs 16-
25 per litre depending on the shelf life, packaging and fat content, and is, therefore, more
expensive than plain or pasteurised milk). Regional dairies are typically completely forward and
backward integrated in terms of milk procurement, distribution and retailing. For instance,
Mother Dairy, a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), is reported to
have a network of 568 booths, over 200 manually operated insulated containers set up in shops
located in congested areas, and around 300 cycle rickshaws which deliver milk at the
consumer's doorstep. The integrated structure of the cooperatives is expensive and difficult to
replicate and therefore serves as a major entry barrier for large organised players.

According to industry estimates, the organised sector handled 17% of the total urban milk
supply in 1995, with the rest being handled by the traditional, non-organised sector. The co-
operative/Government sector handled 60% of the total milk supply within the organised sector,
thus accounting for 10.2% of the total urban milk supply. The corresponding share of the private
organised sector was 7.2% in 1995. The share of the co-operative/Government sector in liquid
milk supply in Class I cities (population more than 100,000) was even higher. The traditional
sector dominates the urban liquid milk market, and accounted for an estimated 83% of the total
urban milk supply in 1995. The major flavoured milk brands in the country are Energee in
Mumbai (Maharastra), Amul in Gujarat, Milma in Kerala, Vijaya in Andhra Pradesh, Aavin in
Chennai (Tamil Nadu), and Mother Dairy in Delhi, which are market leaders in their respective
regions. Britannia India Limited had launched its flavoured milk ZipSip in the market and had
proposed to develop it as a national brand but subsequently withdrew the product as it failed to
do well. The company has relaunched the product under a new brand, Milkman.

It is ironical that despite the country being world’s largest producer of milk, India’s share in world
dairy export is marginal. Although the country’s dairy exports have increased at a fast rate in the
recent past, total exports in FY2002 amounted to Rs 1.67 billion. Further, as depicted in Figure
19 below, exports are mainly to developing countries.

Figure 18: Growth in Indian Dairy Exports Figure 19: Dairy Exports Destination Profile FY2002
(Rs. Millions) (Value)
Netherlands Bangladesh
1667 22%
2000 2% 23%
1500 Korea
839 Republic UAE
1000 3% USA 22%
Madagascar 3%
3% Germany
Saudi Arabia Egy pt Oman 6%
4% 4% 5%
FY2000 FY2001 FY2002

Source: DGCIS

Various reasons have been put forward for the country’s dismal performance in the international
arena. First is protectionist measures adopted by EU and Unites States. Second, is the
country’s low productivity in dairy farming and processing.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Financial trends

Dairy Farming
Owing to the fact that dairy farming activity is undertaken largely in the unorganized sector,
financial accounts of dairy farming units are not readily available. Table 5 below summarises the
distribution of costs components for a typical dairy farmer in rural India on the basis of a survey
conducted by National Council of Applied Economic Research in 1996 and published in 1999.
Major components of cost of milk production include animal feed, labour, depreciation of
animals, recurring expenditure, depreciation of assets and equipment ad interest on capital.
Table 5 also presents the distribution of costs according to the number of milch animals in the
households to highlights the impact of scale on distribution of costs. Animal feed accounts for
around 72% of total costs. The number is lower for units with small herds because home-
produced feed and fodder meet a larger share of feed requirement. Sources indicate that costs
of home-produced feed and fodder are 25-30% lower than the market rate. Labour is the next
key cost component accounting for almost 21% of total costs. Family sources account for 88%
of the labour input although, as can be expected, the share of hired labour is higher for units
with relatively large herds. The size of the herd also affects other cost components. For
households possessing 1 or 2 animals, the share of expenses on other items (including animal
health care) is significantly high in addition to higher share of purchased feed. Figure 20 depicts
cost per litre of milk for households with varying herd sizes. While the per litre cost of milk for a
typical households (with one or two milch animals) stood at Rs 7.27 per litre in the year of the
survey, the cost per litre was far lower for relatively households with more milch animals. This
clearly indicates the economies of scale associated with large herds in dairy farming in rural

Table 5: Percentage Distribution of Cost Figure 20: Cost per litre of Milk
Components by Milch Animal Holding (Rs per kilogram)
(% of total costs)
No. of milch Aggregate
animals 7.05 7.02 7.27
1 >4
Feed purchased 20.6 12.4 14.4
Feed home-produced 31.3 61.9 57.1
Labour - hired 1.1 2.8 2.4
Labour - family 36.3 15.7 18.4
Equipment 3.9 2.9 3.1
Others 6.8 4.4 4.7 1 2 3 >4 Total
<-------------------------Animal-holding size--------------------------------->
Total 100 100 100
Source: NCAER

Dairy Processing
Table 6 summarises the aggregate cost structure of 24 registered dairy processing units in India
in FY2001. Raw material, primarily milk, is the largest cost head accounting for almost two-
thirds of Operating Income (OI). Selling costs is the next most important cost accounting for 9%
of OI. Advertising, marketing and distribution expenses, the three components of selling costs,
accounted for 47%, 13% and 40% of selling expenses respectively. Employee costs and
administrative costs are the next biggest cost heads accounting for 6% of OI each.

Impact Evaluation of Operation Flood on Rural Dairy Sector, NCAER, 1999

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Table 6
Dairy Processing: Aggregate Cost Structure – FY2001
Cost head % of Operating Income
Raw materials & stores 65%
Employee costs 6%
Power & fuel 3%
Other operating expenses 4%
Repairs & maintenance 1%
Selling costs 9%
Administrative expenses 6%
Interest payments 4%
Depreciation 2%

PBT 6%
PAT 6%

Performance over FY1997 – FY2001 period

Table 7 below plots the trend in costs in the FY1997 – FY2001 period. Material costs increased
marginally in FY1999 before declining even below FY1997 levels in the following two years. All
other expenses except overheads increased during the period under consideration. The most
marked increase is observed in advertising costs, which increased from 2.6% of net sales in
F1997 to 4.2% in FY2001. This increase is in line with that observed in the Indian fast moving
consumer goods (FMCG) sector where too, ad-spend went up. It reflects the increasing
competitive activity and efforts by manufacturers to build their brands. Never the less, ad-spend
in dairy products sector remains far below the FMCG average indicating that the expense can
be expected to increase further in the future. The trend in margins reflects that in the raw
material cost. Operating margin declined in the FY1997 – FY2001 period but increased
thereafter. However, on a point to point basis margins remained stagnant between FY1997 and
FY2001 as savings in material costs were wiped off by increase in other expenses.

Table 7
Dairy Processing - Cost Trend (as % of Net Sales)
FY1997 FY1998 FY1999 FY2000 FY2001
Total Material Cost 69 69 70.5 65.8 65
Employee costs 3 3.2 3.5 3.9 4
Power & Fuel Expenses 2.9 2.9 2.9 3 3.3
Advertising costs 2.6 3.1 3.5 3.7 4.2
Other selling costs 4 4.2 4.4 4.7 4.8
Administrative costs 6.1 6.6 5.7 6.6 6.1
Total 87.6 89 90.5 87.7 87.4


• Global demand-supply scenario in the future: According to FAO, world milk

production is expected to increase to 615 million tonnes by 2005. The biggest growth in
production is expected to happen in developing countries. Owing to reduction of
barriers to trade, world trade in dairy products is likely to expand to approximately 7% of
world production. Developing countries are expected to continue to account for around
two-thirds of the world import demand. However, the share of developing countries in
exports is projected to increase.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

Table 8
FAO Projections for Dairy Sector to 2005 (million tonnes)
Production Import Export Total Use
1993/95 2005 1993/95 2005 1993/95 2005 1993/95 2005
Developing 184 249 22 28 2 5 204 273
Transitional 112 115 3 3 6 7 109 110
Developed 237 251 10 13 26 32 221 232
World 534 615 34 44 34 44 534 615

India 63 88 0.03 0.05 0.05 0.32 63.31 88.14

Table 9
FAO Projections for Dairy Sector to 2005: Percentage share of World
Production Import Export Total Use
1993/95 2005 1993/95 2005 1993/95 2005 1993/95 2005
Developing 34% 41% 64% 64% 6% 11% 38% 44%
Transitional 21% 19% 8% 6% 19% 16% 20% 18%
Developed 44% 41% 28% 30% 75% 73% 41% 38%
World 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

India 12% 14% 0.08% 0.12% 0.14% 0.74% 11.86% 14.33%

Indian milk output is projected to grow to 88.4 million tonnes by 2005. This growth in output is
expected to go to meet strong growth in demand for dairy products in the domestic market as
well as for exports. The countries exports are forecasted to increase.

• Domestic demand drivers: The factors that drive the consumption of dairy products
include tradition, dietary habit, climate and other natural conditions, urbanisation,
packaging technology and availability of cold chain and of course, affordability. Milk and
milk products have traditionally formed a part of the Indian diet although, as discussed
above, the form in which milk is consumed and the per capita usage varies in different
parts of the country. Amongst the factors discussed above, growth in incomes is the
most fundamental. ICRA’s analysis based on NSS data has shown that as households
climb up the income ladder, there is a re-allocation of expenditure towards milk and
milk products, both in rural and urban India. This, when the Indian income pyramid is
tapering at the top, bodes well for domestic dairy consumption. The increase in
consumption is expected to drive the offtake of both, the existing products and new
products. Increasing affordability will drive the consumption of fluid milk in households
hitherto consuming no or small quantities. Further, as income levels increase people
look for food with better nutrition and taste and also have the luxury to try new foods at
higher expense. This encourages a change in dietary habits. A case in point is the rapid
growth and popularity of pizza outlets. Urbanisation is another important factor.
Uranisation is generally accompanied by increased disposable incomes and access to
a greater variety of food. Further, urbanisation is also characterised by general
provision of electricity, and therefore the potential for developing an extended cool
chain, necessary for perishable products such as milk. Packaging technology also
affects consumption as it enhances the shelf-life of milk. For example, ultra-heat
treated milk, a form of processed milk recently launched in the Indian market, has shelf
life of many months thus making consumption of milk possible many months after its
production. Similarly, a nation-wide cold chain would boost wider availability of fresh
dairy products such as ice-creams and yoghurts thus driving the per capita

! Cost structure: For the country to compete effectively in the international market, the
country has to be competitive across dairying value chain. Studies have revealed that the
country’s productivity in the two key dairy activities i.e. dairy farming and dairy processing is
far below that of it’s international competitors and also far below its potential. While poor
yield per dairy animal explains the low productivity in dairy farming, lack of pressure to
improve productivity explains the variance in dairy processing. The measures required to

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

correct these involve a greater role of government in provision of support services and
policy reform that encourages entry of private sector in the country. Although some steps
such as amendment of the MMPO are steps in right direction, the likelihood of government
effort, especially in the area of encouraging large format mechanised dairying is unclear.

Probable change agents

Four important factors influence a country’s dairy market structure and competitiveness in world

! natural resource endowments;

! infrastructure and technology;
! domestic demand; and
! government intervention.

In case of India, natural resource endowments such as its cattle population and its vast land
under agriculture (which provides fodder) are unlikely to change but in the very long term.
Domestic demand, as discussed above, is on the upswing and is expected to be the key driver
of the Indian dairy industry. Therefore, the levers that can be pulled for enhancing the country’s
competitiveness involve improving the country’s infrastructure and technology and focussed
government intervention. The following could act as change agents:

! Dairy reforms in India: These could involve removal of all subsidies to co-operative and
government owned plants and encouragement of private sector.
! Reduction in domestic and export subsidies by major international dairy producers:
A world-wide reduction in trade protection could enhance country’s ability to leverage its low
cost production base and emerge as a significant player in world dairy trade.


The future of world dairy market is positive. Demand is increasing and production is rising in
several regions. In terms of trade, the regions which are expected to benefit most from any
increase in world demand for dairy products are the ones which lave low costs of production
and are able to export their products without the aid of subsidies. The dairy market in the future
will be far more diversified in terms of products, their packaging and marketing. Most
importantly, brands will play a major role.

The outlook for the domestic dairy industry is positive, more for the dairy-processing segment
than for dairy farming. The former is likely to benefit from growing domestic consumption and
bulk of the production would be consumed in the country itself. Although the country’s dairy
exports are expected to increase, given the distortions in the world trade in the form of high
level of subsidies and other protectionist mechanisms, it is unlikely that the country will be in a
position to acquire a significant share in the international market for western dairy products.

Industry Comment The Indian Dairy Industry

INGRES (ICRA Information, Grading and Research Service)

A Division of ICRA Limited


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