Chinese Dairy Giants Report Strong Growth As US Companies Falter

GLOBAL – Dairy company turnover figures for 2013 confirm expansion is increasing Chinese revenues but US companies are not faring so well.
calendar icon 18 September 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

The Rabobank global top 20 tells of a past year which has seen turnover continue to increase at Yili and Mengiu, now estimated as making US$6.5 and $5.7 billion respectively.

The Chinese pair now sit in the top fifteen companies in the world. Rabobank analysts have emphasised that in 2008, no Chinese companies were in the top 20.

They also say that the top 20 in general has experienced ‘stiff headwinds’ this year as global economic woes continue. In fact, six companies were reported as posting smaller revenues in 2013.

Rabobank dairy strategist, Tim Hunt said this could be a sign of things to come.

“With the rapid growth of the Chinese giants, it is quite possible that the US giants will be pushed further down the list in coming years, with the global landscape largely being shaped by others at present,” said Mr Hunt.

Mr Hunt added that US companies should look further afield for ‘growth opportunities’ as chances to expand will be likely to come from abroad.

“US companies will need to think about whether being an unaligned exporter with no offshore footing will be enough to secure a fair share of the growth and value available in coming years,” he said.

Big Players

At the top of the tree, no change has been noted in the five major players. Nestle remains far ahead of Danone and Lactalis with an estimated turnover of US$30.1 billion for the last year.

Fonterra is fourth and Friesland Campina is placed close behind. Dairy Farmers of America is a non-mover in sixth.

Nestle's supremacy at the top has been aided by the 23 per cent growth coming from the purchase of Pfizer’s infant nutrition business as well as organic expansion.

Elsewhere, big companies have been pressured into acquisitions and consolidation with conscious efforts to branch abroad.

This has extended the gap between number one and 20 in the rankings as mergers take hold, according to analysts at UK levy board DairyCo.

One such buy-out was Saputo/Morningstar which saw Saputo enter the top ten after the acquisition of the Deans Foods subsidiary.

US giant, Kraft Foods fell seven places following its split with Mondelez International which leaves the two running independently.

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms

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