A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

The Chinese dairy sector thrown into turmoil

March 9, 2015

China is embarked on a breakneck quest for food self-sufficiency but the sector is struggling to take off, in spite of repeated announcements regarding the implementation of new financial measures to support agriculture. Worse even, a recent economic monitoring report on China issued by the service provider ABCIS1 indicates that the Chinese dairy industry is going through a new crisis in a global context under pressure.

In fact, prices paid to farmers fell by 19 percent between early 2014 and January 2015. The Government fears a repeat of the 2007-2008 low prices that generated the melamine scare. Among the reasons put forward: Increasing imports of dairy products in a context in which Chinese consumption is declining, and thus the sale of such products. To make matters worse, the country is already the world’s largest importer of soybean (60 percent of transactions), of cotton and of corn, whose purchases are increasing every year.

Finally, this dairy crisis is the symptom of a global slowdown, both in Europe––end of the milk quotas combined with the consequences of the Russian embargo––or in New Zealand––impact of the drought––that is intensified by these markets’ structural volatility.

Yet, in spite of the crisis and the dysfunctions linked to China’s agriculture, the country––which considers agriculture as highly strategic––should work twice as hard in its quest to food self-sufficiency, especially through the pursuit of international markets.

The will to safeguard supply, especially in the dairy sector, has thus led Chinese agribusinesses to invest overseas. In France, two powder milk plants financed by Chinese investment will start operations in 2015, and are drawing on partnerships with dairy cooperatives firms––Isigny-Sainte-Mère in Normandy and Sodiaal in Brittany’s Finistère area.

In addition, although minimal in 2001 when China joined the WTO, domestic support reached $73 billion (CNY461 billion) in 2012. As momagri’s SGPAA (Global Support to Agricultural and Food Production) indicator shows, per capital public support to agriculture between 2008 and 2012 increased by 71 percent, and should not show any noteworthy decline.

1 “Experts in Cattle Farming”, this company was established by three livestock technical institutes––IFIP, Institut de l’Elevage and ITAVI.

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Paris, 21 June 2019