Introduction to Dairy Science and Technology

2 World Wide Milk Production and Consumption

The world dairy situation- facts and figures regarding production and consumption- is presented by the International Dairy Federation here.

Total milk consumption (as fluid milk and processed products) per person varies widely from highs in Europe and North America (60-90 kg) to lows in Asia (<30 kg). However, as the various regions of the world become more integrated through travel and migration, these trends are changing, a factor which needs to be considered by product developers and marketers of milk and milk products in various countries of the world.

Even within regions such as Europe, the custom of milk consumption has varied greatly. Consider for example the high consumption of fluid milk in countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden compared to France and Italy where cheeses have tended to dominate milk consumption. When you also consider the climates of these regions, it would appear that the culture of producing more stable products (cheese) in hotter climates as a means of preservation is evident. Table 1 illustrates milk per capita consumption information from various countries of the world (data from 2017), while Table 2 shows the quantity of raw milk produced around the world.

Table 1. Per Capita Consumption of Milk (L) and Milk Products (kg) in Various Countries, 2017 data

Country Fluid Milk Cheeses Butter
North America
USA 65.2 17.0 2.6
Canada 66.6 13.8 2.7
Europe (EU26)
Ireland 119.7 6.6 2.4
Finland 110.6 25.9 3.4
UK 101.6 11.8 2.4
Sweden 75.7 20.0 2.4
France 46.0 26.4 8.0
Denmark 85.0 27.5 6.2
Italy 46.1 22.2 2.6
Germany 51.8 24.3 5.9
Netherlands 40.8 21.7 4.0
Australia 100.4 13.5 4.7
Brazil 47.5 3.8 0.4
India 47.3 - 4.0
China 19.7 0.1 0.1

Note the inverse relationship in Europe between milk-drinking countries and cheese/butter-eating countries. (

Table 2. Cow Milk Production (‘000 tonnes) in Selected Countries of the World, 2017 data

USA 97,734
India 83,487
Brazil 35,672
China 35,450
Germany 32,661
Russia 30,915
France 24,987
New Zealand 21,515
Turkey 18,762
Pakistan 16,722
United Kingdom 15,398
Netherlands 14,501
Poland 13,721
Italy 12,280
Mexico 12,162
Argentina 10,400
Ukraine 10,281
Canada 9901
Australia 9596
Ireland 7628



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