How to Import Milk Powder?

How to Import Milk Powder?

Have you been looking for something to import that is in-demand, durable, versatile and has a growing supply? If so, look no further than one of Africa’s hottest new imports, milk powder. Milk is the hottest new trend in African imports, especially milk coming from Europe, where the price of milk has fallen drastically due to farm subsidies from the European Union (EU). This decrease in price has led to a nearly threefold increase in the amount of milk imported from Europe into Africa over the last five years. Most of this imported milk has come in the form of milk powder, which has many uses, and not only provides a more shelf-stable alternative to liquid milk, but also is used in baby formula as baby milk powder, and in making instant meals, such as instant oatmeal. This importing has mostly been driven by large European companies, but the African milk powder market is still small enough for African entrepreneurs to get in on the ground floor! In this article, we’ll discuss the logistics of importing milk powder, the top milk powder suppliers, what milk powder is used for, and how WaystoCap can help you to import milk powder.

Logistics: How to Import Milk Powder

Globally, Africa is third in dollar amount of milk imported at 10.9% of all milk imported globally, behind only Europe and Asia. Both Algeria and Nigeria rank in the top 25 milk importing countries in the world. When it comes to importing milk powder, two of the top twelve milk powder importing countries are in Africa. This high demand shows that African markets are very receptive to milk powder and therefore there is a place for African entrepreneurs to get involved.

The first thing to know when importing milk powder, or any other milk product, are the requirements for import into your country. These differ by country and always need to be followed precisely. A list of the requirements for several African countries can be found here. When deciding what to import, it is important to compare multiple products in order to decide which best fits your business. You can compare products based on price, quality, type and how well each of these mesh with what you are trying to do. For instance, if you are trying to appeal to as broad a consumer base as possible, it would not be wise to import baby milk powder. One of the best websites to find products to compare and eventually import from is Alibaba. On Alibaba, you can compare prices among whole milk powder suppliers, along with minimum order amounts and receive details on the products.

Another important thing to consider is which tariffs or taxes are levied in your country. Tariffs could be the difference between a profitable venture and taking a loss, so it is very important to pay attention to them. For example, in 2017, Kenya got rid of its costly duty on powdered milk. If you are paying attention to these kinds of factors you can stay one step ahead of the competition, and be sure you are always making the right decision as a businessperson. Tariffs are tracked by Harmonized System code, or HS code. The HS code is different for each product type. For instance, the skim powder milk hs code is 4021010.

Knowing how much the tariffs are on milk powder can allow you as an entrepreneur to break into a market that is at its lowest wholesale price point. In the past year,  the average price was $212.23 USD for one metric ton. These low milk powder prices internationally stand in sharp contrast to the price of African liquid milk, which has been rising steadily. In South Africa this January, milk prices hit a four-year high. This confluence of high liquid milk prices and low milk powder prices means that now is one of the best times to get into the business of importing milk powder.

Top Milk Powder Suppliers

While much of this milk is coming from the EU, not all of it is. The top ten milk producing countries in the world are

  1. United States of America – 91.3 metric tons
  2. India – 60.6 metric tons
  3. China – 35.7 metric tons
  4. Brazil – 34.3 metric tons
  5. Germany – 31.1 metric tons
  6. Russia – 30.3 metric tons
  7. France – 23.7 metric tons
  8. New Zealand – 18.9 metric tons
  9. Turkey – 16.7 metric tons
  10. United Kingdom – 13.9 metric tons

While three of those countries are in the aforementioned EU, the rest are still major milk producers who could be sources of powdered milk for importing into Africa.

While the market certainly looks ripe for entry now, you need to make sure that you are planning ahead and looking at trends to see if the market for milk powder will continue to experience oversupply on the manufacturing end, leading to low prices for you, the entrepreneur.  For instance, one thing that may disturb the production of milk powder is another good with similar inputs increasing in profitability, whether through new technology or simply market trends. This may be currently happening in the EU where processing cheese continues to become more profitable.

What is Milk Powder Used For?

Milk powder has many uses, and actually comes in various forms, whether it be sweetened milk powder, whole milk powder, skim milk powder or baby milk powder. Baby milk powder is one of the most important kinds. Baby milk powder is differentiated by alterations that make it nutritionally similar to that of breast milk. These alterations both make the formula easier to digest and provide the correct balance of nutrients. Baby milk powder is used in the least expensive type of baby formula, in which every scoop has to be combined with water. Infant formula using baby milk powder is suggested until age 1 and after that age whole milk, which can be prepared from whole milk powder, is suggested for another year. Because milk powder is used in both of these common products, the demand for milk powder has a very high floor, especially as the population of Africa continues to increase.

Milk powder is especially important for any families that have a low budget, or do not have access to refrigeration, as it can be mixed as needed, thereby extending its shelf life considerably. This not only increases the demand for milk powder but also means that by supplying it you are helping families to have access to a valuable life-improving commodity which they would not normally be able to afford. Powdered milk can also be ordered in a low-lactose variant, which is very important for African populations that have higher rates of lactose intolerance than European and American populations. Milk powder has all the same nutrients of liquid milk and can even be used as a supplement because of the ease with which it mixes with other products.

How WaystoCap Can Help You Import Milk Powder into Africa!

WaystoCap is a platform that supports importers and exporters in Africa by providing experienced, comprehensive consulting and referrals to entrepreneurs. WaystoCap is the first B2B marketplace in Africa dedicated to international trade, and makes available a dedicated, in-house team which boasts many years of experience in international trade.

We are experts in the African market, which means we know and understand local laws, regulations, and trends in various industries. WaystoCap has created a unique opportunity for Africans to build community by trading with other African and international enterprises.

WaystoCap ensures smooth international transactions by providing assistance in a variety of areas from shipping practices to evaluating product quality, and securing insurance for your imports and exports. Our platform creates access to the highest quality products, vetted businesses, and to the most affordable goods available for trade on the African continent. By using our platform to research prices, find business partners, and source quality products, you will save time and money – which means you’ll have more time and money to spend on your business!


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