India’s dairy exports for 2023-24 slid by a fifth to $468 million despite a 10 per cent rise in volumes on account of lower prices of skimmed milk powder and other products. India’s dairy exports stood at a record $588.93 million in 2022-23. In volume terms, the exports of dairy products during 2023-24 stood at 1.73 lakh tonnes, up from previous year’s 1.56 lakh tonnes.

R. S Sodhi, President, Indian Dairy Association (IDA), attributed the decline in export value during 2023-24 to factors such as lower global commodity prices and dip in shipments of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and casein among others. “SMP exports were negligible during the year as India was not competitive in countries such as Bangladesh,” he said.

Exports of skimmed milk powder during April-Jan of 2023-24 stood at 3243 tonnes as compared to 18,737 tonnes during 2022-23. Similarly, the export of casein, caseinates and other casein derivatives were lower during April-Jan period of current fiscal at 1621 tonnes as compared to 8843 tonnes during 2022-23.

USA continues to be the largest buyer of Indian dairy products with shipment volumes registering a growth of 32 per cent at 94,381 tonnes during 2023-24 over previous year’s 71250 tonnes. However, in value terms the dairy exports to US were down at $179.95 million from $2406 million in the previous year.

Shipments to UAE, the second major destination for Indian dairy product, saw a growth of 16 per cent at 18354 tonnes over previous year’s 15802 tonnes. In value terms, shipments to UAE grew to $69.78 million over previous year’s $61.68 million.

Bangladesh, one of the major importers of dairy products from India, had a reduced off-take during the year. In volume terms, dairy exports to Bangladesh fell sharply by around 65 per cent to 5162 tonnes during 2023-24 over previous year’s 14868 tonnes.

Shipments to Saudi saw a marginal growth in volumes at 8366 tonnes (8322 tonnes in 2022-23), while the value declined marginally to $42.90 million ($43.50 million). Further, Sodhi said that dairy exports were crucial for India, the largest milk producer, to ensure better prices to the farmers and sustain their interest in the sector.