At the international level, the dairy sector is favored by a growing demand, mainly from Asian countries, where dairy consumption per capita remains much lower than that observed in the European Union (EU) and North America. Over the last fifteen years (2000-2015), New Zealand, the country that has most benefited from the growth of international trade in dairy products, especially under the influence of whole milk powdered Chinese imports was far ahead of the USA and the EU. Despite an increase in imports, especially of cheese and butter, France has regularly improved its trade balance which reached €3.75 billion in 2015. This performance was due mainly to the dynamics of trade with the United Kingdom and China. Since 2010, the trade balance of France with non-European countries has been improving while the internal competition with the EU is becoming more difficult. For the European dairy producers, the slight decline in demand for dairy products in the EU and the rapid increase in milk production in several Member States since the abolition of milk quotas in 2015 is a real threat. This should be an additional incentive to, firstly, increase exports abroad and, secondly, better sell the wide variety of dairy products on the domestic market.


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