Top Milk Imports by Country

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Fresh milk (Pixabay)

Worldwide purchases of imported milk totaled an estimated US$27.7 billion in 2018.

Overall, the value of milk imports declined by -26.9% for all importer countries since 2014 when import purchases of milk were valued at $37.8 billion. Year over year, international purchases of milk depreciated by -6.4% from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries imported the highest dollar worth of milk during 2018 with purchases valued at $11.6 billion or 41.9% of the global total. In second place were European importers at 37.9% while 10.5% of the world’s imported milk was delivered to Africa. Smaller percentages arrived in Latin America (5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, North America (3.3%) and Oceania (1.1%) led by Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

The metrics below combine subtotals for two 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefixes for milk. Specifically, those prefixes are 0401 for unsweetened milk and 0402 for milk concentrated or containing added sugar or other sweetening ingredients.

Unsweetened milk imports under HTS prefix 0401 amounted to $9.4 billion (34% of the global total) while sweetened milk items under code 0402 cost $18.3 billion (66%).

Milk Imports by Country

Top 15

Milk: Top 15 Importer Countries

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of milk during 2018, including both sweetened and unsweetened varieties.

  1. China: US$3.4 billion (12.3% of total milk imports)
  2. Germany: $1.8 billion (6.4%)
  3. Hong Kong, China: $1.6 billion (6%)
  4. Belgium: $1.4 billion (5.1%)
  5. Netherlands: $1.3 billion (4.6%)
  6. Italy: $1.1 billion (4.1%)
  7. Algeria: $1.1 billion (4%)
  8. France: $907.8 million (3.3%)
  9. Mexico: $754.4 million (2.7%)
  10. Indonesia: $525.4 million (1.9%)
  11. Malaysia: $522.2 million (1.9%)
  12. United Arab Emirates: $520.6 million (1.9%)
  13. Philippines: $507.6 million (1.8%)
  14. Russian Federation: $488.1 million (1.8%)
  15. Singapore: $467 million (1.7%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 59.4% of all milk imports in 2018. Within parenthesis is the percentage of globally imported milk for each importer.

Among these top milk markets, only Netherlands expanded its purchases since 2014 via a 23.8% increase.

Those countries that posted declines in their imported milk purchases were led by: United Arab Emirates (down -56.9%), Russia (down -49.1%), Indonesia (down -42.3%) and Algeria (down -38.5%).

All Countries

Milk: All Importer Countries in 2018

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below.

RankImporterImported Milk (US$)%World Total
1.China$3.4 billion12.3%
2.Germany$1.8 billion6.4%
3.Hong Kong$1.6 billion6%
4.Belgium$1.4 billion5.1%
5.Netherlands$1.3 billion4.6%
6.Italy$1.1 billion4.1%
7.Algeria$1.1 billion4%
8.France$907.8 million3.3%
9.Mexico$754.4 million2.7%
10.Indonesia$525.4 million1.9%
11.Malaysia$522.2 million1.9%
12.United Arab Emirates$520.6 million1.9%
13.Philippines$507.6 million1.8%
14.Russia$488.1 million1.8%
15.Singapore$467 million1.7%
16.United Kingdom$464.4 million1.7%
17.Ireland$408.7 million1.5%
18.Vietnam$392.3 million1.4%
19.Poland$370.3 million1.3%
20.Thailand$351 million1.3%
21.Bangladesh$347.3 million1.3%
22.Saudi Arabia$340 million1.2%
23.Spain$295.8 million1.1%
24.Taiwan$289.2 million1%
25.Sri Lanka$287.6 million1%
26.Nigeria$281.5 million1%
27.Macao$280.8 million1%
28.Brazil$271.6 million1%
29.Greece$259.6 million0.9%
30.Egypt$239.3 million0.9%
31.Oman$230 million0.8%
32.Lithuania$202.2 million0.7%
33.Libya$199.8 million0.7%
34.Austria$192.3 million0.7%
35.Australia$180.3 million0.7%
36.Venezuela$161.2 million0.6%
37.South Korea$159.6 million0.6%
38.Peru$145.9 million0.5%
39.Dominican Republic$140.1 million0.5%
40.Sweden$137.5 million0.5%
41.United States$132.4 million0.5%
42.Kuwait$131 million0.5%
43.Denmark$129.9 million0.5%
44.Romania$127.9 million0.5%
45.Lebanon$123.6 million0.4%
46.Cuba$117.1 million0.4%
47.Croatia$115.6 million0.4%
48.Japan$115.4 million0.4%
49.Jordan$114.2 million0.4%
50.Pakistan$113.8 million0.4%
51.Slovakia$104.9 million0.4%
52.Angola$100.1 million0.4%
53.Qatar$98.9 million0.4%
54.Kazakhstan$96.7 million0.3%
55.Yemen$92.2 million0.3%
56.Portugal$91.3 million0.3%
57.Mauritania$90.6 million0.3%
58.Bulgaria$84.6 million0.3%
59.Hungary$80.5 million0.3%
60.Kenya$68.8 million0.2%
61.Colombia$67.7 million0.2%
62.Mauritius$65.1 million0.2%
63.Latvia$61.3 million0.2%
64.Cambodia$60.9 million0.2%
65.Chile$60.1 million0.2%
66.Czech Republic$58 million0.2%
67.Haiti$57.5 million0.2%
68.Sudan$57.3 million0.2%
69.Guatemala$57 million0.2%
70.Syrian Arab Republic$56.8 million0.2%
71.Senegal$55.5 million0.2%
72.Afghanistan$53.1 million0.2%
73.Ghana$52 million0.2%
74.Slovenia$50.1 million0.2%
75.El Salvador$48.2 million0.2%
76.Myanmar (Burma)$47.4 million0.2%
77.South Africa$47 million0.2%
78.Iraq$46.5 million0.2%
79.Ivory Coast$46.1 million0.2%
80.Cameroon$45.7 million0.2%
81.Luxembourg$38.2 million0.1%
82.Canada$36.6 million0.1%
83.New Zealand$34.7 million0.1%
84.Serbia$34.4 million0.1%
85.Fiji$33.9 million0.1%
86.Trinidad/Tobago$32.1 million0.1%
87.Panama$31.5 million0.1%
88.Nicaragua$31.4 million0.1%
89.Honduras$30.8 million0.1%
90.Switzerland$30.4 million0.1%
91.Botswana$28.2 million0.1%
92.Guyana$27.7 million0.1%
93.Zambia$27.6 million0.1%
94.Israel$27.2 million0.1%
95.Gabon$27.2 million0.1%
96.Morocco$25.5 million0.1%
97.Georgia$24.8 million0.1%
98.Tunisia$24.2 million0.1%
99.Burkina Faso$24.1 million0.1%
100.Estonia$24 million0.1%
101.Mali$22.9 million0.1%
102.Bosnia/Herzegovina$21.8 million0.1%
103.North Macedonia$21.6 million0.1%
104.Cabo Verde$20.8 million0.1%
105.Madagascar$20.7 million0.1%
106.Somalia$20.4 million0.1%
107.Democr. Rep. Congo$18 million0.1%
108.Namibia$17.8 million0.1%
109.Lesotho$17.7 million0.1%
110.Bolivia$17.1 million0.1%
111.Costa Rica$16 million0.1%
112.Montenegro$15.9 million0.1%
113.New Caledonia$15.1 million0.1%
114.French Polynesia$14.5 million0.1%
115.Armenia$14.3 million0.1%
116.Papua New Guinea$14.1 million0.1%
117.Bahrain$13.8 million0.05%
118.Cyprus$13.7 million0.05%
119.Mongolia$13.2 million0.05%
120.Guinea$12.6 million0.05%
121.Moldova$12.6 million0.05%
122.Eswatini$12.5 million0.05%
123.Bhutan$12.4 million0.04%
124.Mozambique$12.4 million0.04%
125.Benin$11.9 million0.04%
126.Finland$11.3 million0.04%
127.Albania$11 million0.04%
128.Togo$10.5 million0.04%
129.Niger$10.4 million0.04%
130.Congo$10.2 million0.04%
131.Malta$10.1 million0.04%
132.Suriname$9.3 million0.03%
133.Tanzania$9 million0.03%
134.Maldives$8.8 million0.03%
135.Sierra Leone$8.8 million0.03%
136.Belize$8.5 million0.03%
137.Bahamas$8.4 million0.03%
138.Ukraine$7.8 million0.03%
139.Barbados$7.7 million0.03%
140.Azerbaijan$7.4 million0.03%
141.Malawi$7.3 million0.03%
142.Jamaica$7.3 million0.03%
143.Paraguay$7 million0.03%
144.Laos$6.9 million0.02%
145.Rwanda$6.8 million0.02%
146.Andorra$6.8 million0.02%
147.Nepal$6.7 million0.02%
148.Djibouti$6.7 million0.02%
149.Equatorial Guinea$6.7 million0.02%
150.Palestin$6.6 million0.02%
151.North Korea$6.5 million0.02%
152.Brunei Darussalam$6.4 million0.02%
153.Gambia$6.1 million0.02%
154.Curaçao$6 million0.02%
155.Iran$5.5 million0.02%
156.Samoa$5.2 million0.02%
157.Ethiopia$5.2 million0.02%
158.US Minor Outlying Is$5 million0.02%
159.Aruba$5 million0.02%
160.Belarus$5 million0.02%
161.Norway$4.9 million0.02%
162.Greenland$4.8 million0.02%
163.Timor-Leste$4.6 million0.02%
164.Saint Lucia$4.5 million0.02%
165.Uzbekistan$4.3 million0.02%
166.Turkmenistan$4.3 million0.02%
167.Grenada$4.2 million0.02%
168.Seychelles$4.1 million0.01%
169.Liberia$4 million0.01%
170.Uganda$3.8 million0.01%
171.Antigua/Barbuda$3.5 million0.01%
172.Turkey$3.5 million0.01%
173.Ecuador$3.4 million0.01%
174.Tonga$3.4 million0.01%
175.India$3.3 million0.01%
176.Vanuatu$3 million0.01%
177.Bermuda$2.4 million0.01%
178.Comoros$2.4 million0.01%
179.St Vincent/Grenadines$2.4 million0.01%
180.Kyrgyzstan$2.4 million0.01%
181.Tajikistan$2.3 million0.01%
182.Uruguay$2.3 million0.01%
183.Zimbabwe$2.1 million0.01%
184.Sao Tome/Principe$1.9 million0.01%
185.Kiribati$1.8 million0.01%
186.Cook Islands$1.7 million0.01%
187.Central African Rep$1.7 million0.01%
188.Saint Kitts/Nevis$1.6 million0.01%
189.Northern Mariana Is$1.6 million0.01%
190.Cayman Islands$1.6 million0.01%
191.St Maarten (Dutch)$1.6 million0.01%
192.Dominica$1.6 million0.01%
193.Gibraltar$1.5 million0.01%
194.Solomon Islands$1.5 million0.01%
195.Turks/Caicos Islands$1.4 million0.01%
196.Guinea-Bissau$1.4 million0.01%
197.Chad$1.4 million0.005%
198.Wallis/Futuna Islands$725,0000.003%
199.Marshall Islands$579,0000.002%
200.British Virgin Islands$578,0000.002%
203.St. Pierre/Miquelon$552,0000.002%
207.Norfolk Island$308,0000.001%
208.Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba$294,0000.001%
209.Western Sahara$268,0000.001%
210.Falkland Is (Malvinas)$256,0000.001%
211.Saint Helena$211,0000.001%
216.Faroe Islands$113,0000.0004%
217.South Sudan$98,0000.0004%

The countries showcased in the above table represent 100% of imported milk purchased in 2018.

Among all listed geographies, the fastest-growing markets for milk since 2014 were: Macao (up 833.7%), Rwanda (up 352.4%), Cambodia (up 345.5%) and Timor-Leste (up 245.7%).

Those countries that posted declines in their imported milk purchases were led by: South Sudan (down -98.2%), Belarus (down -92.2%), Iran (down -91.9%), Zimbabwe (down -91.4%) then Burundi (down -89.5%).


Milk Suppliers

Below are global milk-processing companies that represent established players engaged in the international milk trade. Many of these business entities are cooperatives. The home country for each company is shown within parenthesis.

  • Almarai (Saudi Arabia)
  • Arla Foods (Denmark)
  • Borden Milk Products (United States)
  • Canberra Milk (Australia)
  • First Milk (United Kingdom)
  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (New Zealand)
  • FrieslandCampina (Netherlands)
  • La Serenísima (Argentina)
  • Lactalis (France)
  • Zott (Germany)


See also Top Milk Exporting Countries, Fresh or Frozen Beef Imports by Country and Natural Honey Imports by Country

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 2, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 2, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 2, 2019

Wikipedia, Category:Dairy products companies by country. Accessed on May 2, 2019

Wikipedia, Dairy. Accessed on May 2, 2019