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Saudi dairy blamed for fall in milk supplies

Milk producers and supermarket chains acknowledged yesterday there has been an acute shortage of fresh supplies in the market for the past week. They estimated the shortfall at around 25 per cent.

Knowledgeable sources confirmed that one Saudi dairy which earlier supplied milk from the kingdom has recently changed tack, and this has exacerbated the squeeze.

"This company, which used to send its milk produced in Abu Dhabi in packaged form for consumption in the UAE, has since started tapping local dairies to procure its milk, which is packaged by an Abu Dhabi firm that has been contracted for this purpose," they said. Thus the volume coming from the kingdom has fallen.

Dairies added that the July-September quarter has traditionally seen average output dip due to cows being affected by the high summer temperatures and humidity.

"Since many residents go on their annual vacations in July-August, the shortfall is not generally felt, although September has often seen a slight supply squeeze in the past. But the lower inflows from Saudi Arabia this year have had a noticeable impact on the demand-supply equation."

But they said that the cutback has nothing to do with the GCC milk wars; it is, rather, attributable to the high summer temperatures, which directly affect milk production throughout the Middle East

Source: Gulf News©



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