The general objective of this paper is to present the world importance of dairy sector and to illustrate present tendency of milk production, consumption, trade and prices mainly based on FAO data base. World milk production was 711 million tonnes in 2010 and it is expected to increase in the future. The most significant milk producers are the EU(27), the United States and from the Asian countries, India and China. Developed countries give one-third of world milk production, while more than two-third of world dairy herd can be found in developing countries. Milk production growth is a future tendency mainly in China, India, Pakistan, Argentina and Brazil. The average level of consumption of milk and milk products is 103,6 kg/capita/year and it will increase in developing and developed countries as well. The ratio of international trade of milk and milk products to production is 6 percent and itmay expand in the future. New Zealand, the EU(27), theUnited States andAustralia are themajor exporters. There is a strong demand formilk andmilk products among others from the Asian countries, the Russian Federation,Algeria,Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United States.Analysis of world market price of the most important dairy products it represents a strong recovery from last year, but it still remains 20 percent below its peak value in early 2008. However prices have doubled compared with prices of period of 2002–2004.
Hungarian dairy farms went through significant changes in past two decades. The most significant changes were caused by our accession to the European Union in 2004. In Hungary milk production remarkably declined after EU accession due to the decreasing level of support and decreasing milk prices. Size of our dairy herd has been practically reducing since the political transformation (1989); meanwhile the relative yields per cow have been continuously increasing. Relatively low prices, high production costs and tightening quality requirements ousted several producers – mainly small farms - from the market in past years. Feeding cost represents the highest rate in cost structure of production, but animal health expenditures and various losses are also significant. Applied technology of the Hungarian dairies lags behind theWestern-European competitors’; in addition they have handicaps in efficiency and product innovation. Moreover Hungarian milk and milk product consumption is about half of the Union average. In 2007 at the University of Debrecen the opportunities and the problems of this sector were discussed in the framework of a research and development project entitled “Project-generating based on sector-specific innovation”.At this workshop farmers, experts and advisers shared their ideas which were all gathered. The main objective of our paper is to provide useful information for the decision makers and the most important members of the sector. Using the practically successful ideas plus the ideas based on previous experience a new strategic concept was created. To reach the objective of this paper we collected, synthesized and analysed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the dairy farms and performed a SWOT analysis. On the basis of this SWOT analysis we set up a well organised problem hierarchy which would help to identify the main weaknesses of the sector. This analysis gives a great framework for the researches and it also gives a useful tool for the decision makers to improve the competitiveness of the Hungarian dairy sector.
Although the dairy market crisis eased in 2011, Hungarian dairy farmers still find it difficult to produce milk profitably. As a result of the crisis, many dairy farmers abandoned milk production or reduced the size of their dairy herds in 2009 and 2010. Today, many of farmers are also considering ceasing production, in spite of the fact that the global dairy industry is facing an upturn. A dairy farm can operate profitablyy in three ways: 1) if it can reach a relatively high level of producer price 2) if it can increase milk production per cow 3) if it can achieve a relatively low cost of production. In the present study, I primarily analyse the development of the Hungarian producer price of raw milk in international comparison. Next, I list those factors which directly or indirectly influence the producer price of raw milk. Finally, I examine the relationship among disposable income, milk consumption and milk price. Since the start of 2009, the dairy market has been confronted with a period of extraordinary law prices. After bottoming out, prices had begun to slowly stabilise during the second half of 2009. By the end of that summer, international prices had started to strengthen and the last quarter of 2009 was characterized by a steady rise in prices. The strong recovery in prices experienced after 2009 was triggered by increased demand, mainly from oil exporting countries, but also from China.
The price increase, however, reflected a significant increase in input costs in Hungary; the high level of feed prices and the unfavourable change in the macroeconomic environment must be stressed. The rising excise duty on diesel fuel and the VAT increase had a direct impact on Hungarian dairy farmers. These negative factors have increased the costs of the sector, narrowing the ability of those active in it to operate efficiently.