The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced on May 25 that an import quota for skimmed milk powder has been expanded to 34 thousand tons in fiscal 2017, which is 2.6 times larger than the initial plan.
Import of the skimmed milk powder under the current access commitment was fixed at 13 thousand tons for the fiscal year 2017 by MAFF last January, which is now added with 21 thousand tons.
Its annual import in fiscal 2017 will be the third largest in past 29 years since 1989 when the Japanese “Heisei” era started.
Officials of MAFF’s division of milk and dairy products explained the background of an increase in the import quota, saying “Growing production of yogurt in the country is the main factor.”
A demand and supply outlook for the skimmed milk powder, released by J-Milk or Japan Milk Association on the same day, said that the skimmed milk powder production in Japan will be reduced by 5.6 percent to 116.6 thousand tons in fiscal 2017.
Due to the decrease in the domestic production of fresh milk, a kind of emergency measure is being taken, depending upon increased imports of the milk powder.
It is an urgent challenge for Japan to get the production base of domestic dairy farming on its feet again.