Milk and cereals prices have kept food inflation from cooling, making it harder for the government to bring overall price growth to a targeted 4% (+/-2%).
Milk and cereals prices have kept food inflation from cooling, making it harder for the government to bring overall price growth to a targeted 4% (+/-2%). (HT
India’s import of milk products jumped slightly over 1000% to $4.77 billion in 2022-23 even as export of fat items, such as clarified butter (ghee), surged to record levels due to high global prices, stoking the sharpest rise in domestic prices in a decade, data from the government-backed National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) show.
A dip in productivity of milch cattle due to the lumpy skin disease epidemic, which is estimated to have killed and emaciated over 300,000 cattle last year, also hobbled supplies in the world’s largest dairy producer, creating a demand-supply mismatch for the first time in several years, industry experts said.
Retail prices rose 15% over the past year, HT reported on March 4. Consumer inflation in milk rose 9.65% in February from a year ago, compared to an increase of 8.79% in the previous month, the largest buildup after cereals, hitting household budgets.
A similar situation of brisk exports amid lower domestic output had created shortages of wheat last year, until the government clamped a ban on overseas sales of the grain in May 2022. Imports of milk fat, such as butter, surged despite duties of nearly 40%, pointing to local shortages. India normally imports casein, a milk protein, rather than fat items such as butter.
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