From cheese to milk to butter, yogurt, and ice cream, dairy is found in many forms across the globe and is used and consumed in a multitude of ways throughout the world’s varying cultures.  Dairy plays an essential role as the base ingredient of many foods and is a major industrial product in many economies.  The main source of dairy comes from cows, which can be raised and bred in mass numbers to obtain product that satisfies the demand of the population.

This demand translates to a large economic role, and in 2019, the global dairy market is expected to be valued at 442 billion dollars.  This value is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.8 percent in the coming years. In terms of volume, the dairy market was estimated to add up to 216 metric tons in 2017, a number that is supposed to grow to 234 metric tons by the year 2021.  Milk accounts for the majority of this substance, composing about 54 percent of the market in 2017.  With regards to dairy production, and milk specifically, the top three leading countries are the U.S. at 91.3 billion kilograms, India at 60.6 billion kilograms, and China, a growing market, at 35.7 billion kilograms in 2018.  Interestingly, India has the most milk cows of any country, coming in at 56.5 million cows.  In 2018, India had the largest annual consumption of milk in the world at 66,800 thousand metric tons and was followed by the EU and United States, who consumed 33,300 and 22,220 thousand metric tons, respectively. 

Today, the global dairy market is being influenced by several key initiatives.  Politically, the effort to remove tariffs between the U.S., China, and Canada through both negotiations and the newly approved USMCA will aim to reduce trade costs as well as improve domestic dairy selling within the countries.  China, in particular, is seeing a growth in dairy consumption that could shift demand more towards the Asia-Pacific regions.  Additionally, Brexit is being closely monitored as the EU is a major producer of dairy and changes as a result of the political alteration will likely occur.

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