Tokyo, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)–Raw milk production in Japan in fiscal 2022, which starts in April, is seen totaling 7.71 million tons, up 0.8 pct year on year and rising for the fourth straight year, an industry organization said Friday.
But industry people are concerned that a large amount of milk could be discarded if consumption slumps due to the impact of the novel coronavirus crisis. Such concerns grew between late last year and early this year.
During the year-end and New Year holiday period, the industry was able to avoid massive disposal of raw milk because producers and retailers campaigned to boost milk consumption and more raw milk was used to produce butter and powdered low-fat milk, which have a longer shelf life.
Raw milk production in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, a major dairy goods production area, is expected to increase 2.0 pct to 4.39 million tons in fiscal 2022 although the growth would be slower than 3.7 pct estimated for fiscal 2021, according to the Japan Dairy Association, also known as J-milk.
The industry is concerned that a large quantity of raw milk could remain unused if the number of novel coronavirus cases stays high and consumption slumps as a result. In addition, milk consumption is expected to fall during the spring break around the turn of the fiscal year and the Golden Week holidays between late April and early May, when school lunches are not offered.