Top Milk Imports by Country

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Fresh milk (Pixabay)

Worldwide purchases of imported milk totaled US$29.6 billion in 2017.

Overall, the value of milk imports declined by -12.7% for all importer countries since 2013 when import purchases of milk were valued at $33.8 billion. Year over year, international purchases of milk appreciated by 17.7% from 2016 to 2017.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries imported the highest dollar worth of milk during 2017 with purchases valued at $12.7 billion or 43.2% of the global total. In second place were European importers at 36.1% while 11.3% of the world’s imported milk was delivered to Africa. Smaller percentages arrived in Latin America (4.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, North America (3.2%) then Oceania (0.9%) 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 $9.7 billion (33.2% of the global total) while sweetened milk items under code 0402 cost $19.8 billion (66.8%).

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 2017, including both sweetened and unsweetened varieties.

  1. China: US$3.1 billion (10.5% of total milk imports)
  2. Germany: $2 billion (6.7%)
  3. Hong Kong: $1.43 billion (4.8%)
  4. Belgium: $1.43 billion (4.8%)
  5. Algeria: $1.2 billion (4.2%)
  6. Netherlands: $1.15 billion (3.9%)
  7. Italy: $1.1 billion (3.7%)
  8. United Arab Emirates: $1.1 billion (3.6%)
  9. France: $906.6 million (3.1%)
  10. Saudi Arabia: $784.6 million (2.7%)
  11. Mexico: $767 million (2.6%)
  12. Russia: $737.3 million (2.5%)
  13. Malaysia: $503.6 million (1.7%)
  14. Philippines: $495.2 million (1.68%)
  15. Indonesia: $488.6 million (1.65%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 58.1% of all milk imports in 2017. Within parenthesis is the percentage of globally imported milk for each importer.

Four top milk markets expanded since 2013: Germany (up 19.4%), United Arab Emirates (up 15.2%), Algeria (up 15.1%) then Hong Kong (up 1.2%).

Top importers posting declines in their international milk purchases were led by: Indonesia (down -43.5%), Italy (down -38.1%), Russia (down -30.9%), China (down -19.4%), France (down -17.3%) and Saudi Arabia (down -17.1%).

All Countries

Milk: All Importer Countries

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

RankImporter2017 Imported Milk%World Total
1.China$3.1 billion10.5%
2.Germany$2 billion6.7%
3.Hong Kong$1.43 billion4.8%
4.Belgium$1.43 billion4.8%
5.Algeria$1.2 billion4.2%
6.Netherlands$1.15 billion3.9%
7.Italy$1.1 billion3.7%
8.United Arab Emirates$1.1 billion3.6%
9.France$906.6 million3.1%
10.Saudi Arabia$784.6 million2.7%
11.Mexico$767 million2.6%
12.Russia$737.3 million2.5%
13.Malaysia$503.6 million1.7%
14.Philippines$495.2 million1.7%
15.Indonesia$488.6 million1.7%
16.Singapore$456 million1.5%
17.United Kingdom$433.6 million1.5%
18.Nigeria$396.6 million1.3%
19.Iraq$386.3 million1.3%
20.Vietnam$386 million1.3%
21.Ireland$364.8 million1.2%
22.Poland$342.1 million1.2%
23.Brazil$332.9 million1.1%
24.Thailand$331.3 million1.1%
25.Bangladesh$325.1 million1.1%
26.Spain$304.1 million1%
27.Macao$302.6 million1%
28.Sri Lanka$295.9 million1%
29.Taiwan$287.8 million1%
30.Greece$284.9 million1%
31.Oman$253.9 million0.9%
32.Kuwait$253.8 million0.9%
33.Libya$199.5 million0.7%
34.Lithuania$187.4 million0.6%
35.Egypt$185.8 million0.6%
36.Cuba$168.4 million0.6%
37.Austria$161.4 million0.5%
38.Somalia$153.9 million0.5%
39.Qatar$151.3 million0.5%
40.Australia$149.1 million0.5%
41.Japan$141.8 million0.5%
42.Romania$139.3 million0.5%
43.South Korea$136.7 million0.5%
44.Pakistan$135.2 million0.5%
45.Sweden$134.9 million0.5%
46.Venezuela$129.7 million0.4%
47.United States$129.7 million0.4%
48.Jordan$117.1 million0.4%
49.Angola$116.5 million0.4%
50.Kazakhstan$116.3 million0.4%
51.Afghanistan$115.3 million0.4%
52.Peru$114 million0.4%
53.Dominican Republic$111.5 million0.4%
54.Croatia$111.2 million0.4%
55.Slovakia$104.5 million0.4%
56.Lebanon$100.3 million0.3%
57.Kenya$99.8 million0.3%
58.Denmark$98.3 million0.3%
59.Bulgaria$97.1 million0.3%
60.Yemen$96.8 million0.3%
61.Portugal$90.6 million0.3%
62.Guatemala$87.2 million0.3%
63.Hungary$86.6 million0.3%
64.Cameroon$82.8 million0.3%
65.Sudan$80.3 million0.3%
66.Chile$77.9 million0.3%
67.Mauritania$75.8 million0.3%
68.Czech Republic$71.5 million0.2%
69.Colombia$70.7 million0.2%
70.Syria$70.3 million0.2%
71.Bahrain$69.3 million0.2%
72.Mauritius$63.2 million0.2%
73.South Africa$61.6 million0.2%
74.Ghana$59.5 million0.2%
75.Latvia$58.2 million0.2%
76.Côte d'Ivoire$50.2 million0.2%
77.Haiti$48.5 million0.2%
78.Myanmar (Burma)$48 million0.2%
79.Cambodia$46.8 million0.2%
80.Iran$45 million0.2%
81.Canada$43.5 million0.1%
82.El Salvador$42.6 million0.1%
83.Slovenia$41.5 million0.1%
84.Luxembourg$41.1 million0.1%
85.Senegal$39.7 million0.1%
86.Panama$36 million0.1%
87.Trinidad/Tobago$35.8 million0.1%
88.Gabon$34.3 million0.1%
89.Mali$33.4 million0.1%
90.Niger$33 million0.1%
91.Botswana$30.7 million0.1%
92.New Zealand$30.6 million0.1%
93.Israel$30.6 million0.1%
94.Switzerland$30.4 million0.1%
95.Fiji$29.5 million0.1%
96.Georgia$28.4 million0.1%
97.Maldives$24.2 million0.1%
98.Guyana$23.8 million0.1%
99.Cabo Verde$23 million0.1%
100.Democr. Rep. Congo$23 million0.1%
101.Guinea$22.4 million0.1%
102.Estonia$21.7 million0.1%
103.Namibia$21.6 million0.1%
104.Brunei Darussalam$21.6 million0.1%
105.Serbia$21.4 million0.1%
106.Morocco$20.8 million0.1%
107.Kyrgyzstan$20.7 million0.1%
108.Mozambique$20.1 million0.1%
109.Madagascar$19.8 million0.1%
110.Djibouti$18.9 million0.1%
111.Nepal$18.7 million0.1%
112.Burkina Faso$18.2 million0.1%
113.Honduras$18.0 million0.1%
114.Costa Rica$17.6 million0.1%
115.Lesotho$17.3 million0.1%
116.Armenia$17.2 million0.1%
117.Zambia$17.1 million0.1%
118.Togo$16.9 million0.1%
119.Nicaragua$16.5 million0.1%
120.Bosnia/Herzegovina$16.2 million0.1%
121.Macedonia$16 million0.1%
122.Congo$15.9 million0.1%
123.Bolivia$15.2 million0.1%
124.New Caledonia$15.2 million0.1%
125.Montenegro$15 million0.1%
126.Azerbaijan$14.3 million0.05%
127.Papua New Guinea$14.3 million0.05%
128.Turkmenistan$13.7 million0.05%
129.Moldova$13.7 million0.05%
130.French Polynesia$13.5 million0.05%
131.Bhutan$12.9 million0.04%
132.Tunisia$12.7 million0.04%
133.Swaziland$12.6 million0.04%
134.Cyprus$12.1 million0.04%
135.Ethiopia$12 million0.04%
136.Mongolia$11.6 million0.04%
137.Finland$11.4 million0.04%
138.Malawi$10.5 million0.04%
139.Zimbabwe$9.8 million0.03%
140.Tanzania$9.7 million0.03%
141.Malta$9.6 million0.03%
142.Sierra Leone$9.2 million0.03%
143.Paraguay$8.8 million0.03%
144.Aruba$8.5 million0.03%
145.Bahamas$8.4 million0.03%
146.Belarus$8.3 million0.03%
147.Equatorial Guinea$8.2 million0.03%
148.Jamaica$7.9 million0.03%
149.Palestine$7.7 million0.03%
150.Benin$7.4 million0.03%
151.Laos$7.2 million0.02%
152.Belize$7.1 million0.02%
153.Saint Lucia$6.9 million0.02%
154.Albania$6.6 million0.02%
155.Suriname$6.5 million0.02%
156.Rwanda$6.4 million0.02%
157.North Korea$6.4 million0.02%
158.Andorra$6 million0.02%
159.Samoa$5.6 million0.02%
160.Curaçao$5.5 million0.02%
161.Gambia$5.5 million0.02%
162.Barbados$5.5 million0.02%
163.US Minor Outlying Is$5.2 million0.02%
164.Ukraine$5.2 million0.02%
165.India$5.2 million0.02%
166.Seychelles$5 million0.02%
167.Greenland$4.8 million0.02%
168.Argentina$4.8 million0.02%
169.Norway$4.7 million0.02%
170.Antigua/Barbuda$4.6 million0.02%
171.St Vincent/Grenadines$4.5 million0.02%
172.Grenada$4.4 million0.01%
173.Dominica$4.2 million0.01%
174.Ecuador$4.1 million0.01%
175.Liberia$3.7 million0.01%
176.Timor-Leste$3.5 million0.01%
177.Uruguay$3.3 million0.01%
178.Saint Kitts/Nevis$3.2 million0.01%
179.Vanuatu$3.03 million0.01%
180.Tajikistan$2.97 million0.01%
181.Comoros$2.94 million0.01%
182.South Sudan$2.86 million0.01%
183.Central African Republic$2.8 million0.01%
184.Bermuda$2.4 million0.01%
185.Solomon Islands$2.4 million0.01%
186.Turkey$2.3 million0.01%
187.Sao Tome/Principe$2.2 million0.01%
188.Chad$2.1 million0.01%
189.Northern Mariana Is$1.8 million0.01%
190.Kiribati$1.8 million0.01%
191.Tonga$1.7 million0.01%
192.Cayman Islands$1.7 million0.01%
193.Turks/Caicos Islands$1.6 million0.01%
194.Cook Islands$1.5 million0.01%
195.Gibraltar$1.5 million0.01%
196.St Maarten (Dutch)$1.4 million0.005%
197.Uzbekistan$1.3 million0.005%
198.Guinea-Bissau$1 million0.004%
201.Wallis/Futuna Is$895,0000.003%
202.British Virgin Islands$878,0000.003%
205.St. Pierre/Miquelon$493,0000.002%
206.Faroe Islands$483,0000.002%
208.Marshall Islands$406,0000.001%
211.Falkland Is (Malvinas)$309,0000.001%
212.Norfolk Island$267,0000.001%
213.Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba$250,0000.001%
214.Saint Helena$233,0000.001%
216.Christmas Island$107,0000.0004%
221.French S./Antarctic Terr$2,0000.00001%

The countries showcased in the above table represent 100% of imported milk purchased in 2017.

Encompassing all import destinations worldwide regardless of purchase size, the fastest-growing markets for milk since 2013 were: Bhutan (up 1523.6%), Wallis and Futuna Islands (up 952.9%), Kyrgyzstan (up 409.9%) and Cambodia (up 386.6%).

Those countries that posted declines in their imported milk purchases were led by: Australia (down 99.0%), South Africa (down 100.7%), Iceland (down 132.3%) and Nepal (down 142.1%).
the fastest-growing markets for milk since 2013 were: Panama (up 1,284%), Bhutan (up 1,134%), Wallis/Futuna Islands (up 944.7%) and Kyrgyzstan (up 409.9%).

The fastest decliners over the 5-year period were: Montserrat (down -95.1%), Ukraine (down -84.8%), Venezuela (down -83.2%), Uganda (down -78.3%), Zimbabwe (down -77.4%), British Virgin Islands (down -74.8%) and Finland (down -69.7%).


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:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on December 10, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on December 10, 2018

Wikipedia, Category:Dairy products companies by country. Accessed on December 10, 2018