In physical terms, powdered milk exports from New Zealand remain stable. In value terms, exports rose by +3.5% y-o-y to $5.8B in 2020. China was the largest importer of New Zealand's powdered milk, accounting for a 41% share of its total exports. The United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka followed distantly, with a combined 9.5%-share of the New Zealand's export volume. In 2020, Chinese purchases grew by +2.2% y-o-y. The average export price for powdered milk from New Zealand jumped by +4.8% compared to the figures of the previous year.
In 2020, exports of sweetened condensed milk in the EU jumped by +5.2% to 252K tonnes or $525M in value terms. Belgium and the Netherlands remain the largest exporters of sweetened condensed milk in the EU. Belgium saw a -4.8% drop in terms of volume of supplies last year. France and Lithuania managed to double their exports in physical terms, while other major European suppliers recorded moderate growth. Last year, the average export price for sweetened condensed milk in the EU reduced by -6.6% against the previous year.
The global yoghurt imports dropped by -7.2% y-o-y to $2.4B in 2020. The UK remains the leading yoghurt importer worldwide. Last year, the UK emerged as the fastest-growing country in terms of yoghurt imports. In 2020, France, Germany and Belgium were the prime suppliers of yoghurt to the UK, providing 80% of the total import volume.
The U.S. remain the leading supplier of lactose and lactose syrup with a 36%-share in the global exports. While the volume of lactose shipments from the U.S. was almost unchanged from the previous year, exports in value terms jumped by 8% to $396, as the average exports price has significantly risen. Despite the trade tensions, China remains the key importer of lactose from the U.S., followed by New Zealand and Japan.
USDA forecasts that milk production in the U.S. will rise by 2.1% in 2021 thanks to gains in yield per cow as well as a slight increase in the number of milk cows. The average yearly price received by farmers for cow milk in 2021 is predicted to grow by 3.9% y-o-y amidst a rally in prices for animal feed. Rising consumer demand for cheese and butter continues to drive the market on the backdrop of lower demand for beverage milk. Demand in Asia for imported dairy products features as another factor boosting milk processing in the U.S.
Despite consumption of cheese in Asia remains lower than in Europe and the U.S., the westernization of food habits of the Asian population leads to an increase in demand, especially from young more exposed to fast-foods. The boosting online sales channel, as well as an early shift from the lockdown in China, offset the negative impact of the Covid crisis on HoReCa and retail.
In 2020, despite the pandemic, the total ice cream consumption in the U.S. increased by 4.3% to 3.8M tonnes, rising for the second year in a row. Lockdown waves affected the sales channels, as people started to purchase ice cream more often in hypermarkets than in cafes. This also led to a shift in packaging from bulk HoReCa containers to family and single packs suitable for different scenarios of home eating.
In 2019, the global cheese market increased by 2.3% to $114.1B, rising for the third year in a row after two years of...