biggest milk producers in the world

The dairy industry worldwide has changed a lot recently. We’ve seen a huge increase in milk production. From 1961 to 2022, milk production globally has almost tripled. Today, we make about 930 million tonnes of milk each year.1

Largest Milk Producers in The World 2022

Flag Country Production (Liters)
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India 108,371,000,000
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States 102,722,000,001
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil 35,647,494,534
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China 35,613,499,987
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia 32,738,522,007
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany 32,399,049,999
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France 23,967,959,992
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan 23,026,100,009
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand 21,050,999,991
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Tรผrkiye 19,912,135,365
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom 15,540,639,999
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland 15,208,490,003
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands 14,533,740,003
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico 13,497,999,003
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy 13,181,870,000
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina 11,904,142,000
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh 11,766,600,010
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Uzbekistan 11,599,137,004
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada 9,742,540,999
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland 9,108,280,001

Cow milk is the top choice, but we also get milk from other animals. Buffalo, goat, sheep, and even camel milk are important too.

In this race for more milk, India is leading. Since 1997, it has been ahead of the United States. India has the biggest herds of cows and buffalo. Its milk production is really impressive, hitting over 213 million tonnes in 2022. That’s more than twice what the U.S. produces. India’s success shows how strong its dairy farming and dairy industry are.

Key Takeaways

  • Global milk production has nearly tripled since 1961, hitting about 930 million tonnes in 2022.
  • India is now the top milk producer in the world, beating the United States in 1997.
  • India has the largest dairy herds, including cows and buffalo.
  • India’s milk production has grown by 4.5 percent each year since 1980.
  • In 2022, India produced over 213 million tonnes of milk, more than the U.S.’s 102 million tonnes.

India: Unrivaled Dairy Dominance

Cow Milk Production in 2022 (Liters)

Source: FAO, 2022

India leads the world in milk production, making over 22% of the world’s milk in 2022.2 This means it made 213,779,230 tonnes of milk, more than twice the 102,747,320 tonnes made by the USA.2

Staggering Milk Production Statistics

India stands out because it keeps increasing its milk output by 4.5% every year since 1980.2 Its production went from 51.4 million tonnes in 1990 to 132 million tonnes in 2012-13.2 This amazing growth makes India the top global milk producer.

Diverse Dairy Herd: Cattle and Water Buffalo

In 2012, India had the biggest number of cows and buffaloes in the world, totaling 299.9 million.2 India’s dairy scene is different because it uses both cows and water buffalo. A big part of the milk comes from the buffalo, besides lots of cows.2

Over 70 million of India’s households earn from dairy farming out of the 147 million.2 Yet, big dairy businesses only have 18% of the market. This shows that small and traditional dairy farming is key in India.2

United States: The Distant Second

The United States is the world’s second-largest milk producer. It made 102,747,320 tonnes of milk in 2022. This is far below India, which is #1. Still, the U.S. is strong in the dairy world, leading in farm technology.3

Reliable Dairy Powerhouse

American dairy farmers use the latest farming methods. They have high-tech milking systems, precise feeding processes, and smart herd management. These tech upgrades have boosted the U.S. dairy scene, keeping it a top global player.

Technological Advancements in Dairy Farming

The U.S. dairy business is valued at $40.5 billion. It has about 9.3 million dairy cows, giving jobs to nearly 150,000 people. In 2019, over 218 billion pounds of milk were produced. About 17.4% of that was sent to other countries by May 2020.3

States doing the most in milk production are California, Wisconsin, and Idaho. In pure numbers, California takes the lead with 40,564,000,000 pounds โ€“ almost 20% of the total. Wisconsin comes next, with 30,601,000,000 pounds, and Idaho follows with 15,631,000,000 pounds. Other big milk states include New York, Texas, Michigan, and more.3

Top 5 Milk Production States in the U.S. (2022)Milk Production (Tonnes)Percentage of Total U.S. Milk Production
New YorkN/AN/A

In 2022, the top five milk states were California, Wisconsin, Idaho, Texas, and New York. They churned out over half of the nation’s milk. In 2021, most farm milk was 87% water, 4% milk fat, and 9% skim goods on average. Cheese was the main product, with whey used for items like whey protein and lactose. Americans are eating more dairy each year, with a big jump in cheese. This is because there are many types of cheese now, and people like trying new ones.4

United States Milk Production

Pakistan: The Rising Dairy Giant

Pakistan is now the third-largest milk producer globally, hitting 62,557,950 tonnes in 2022.5 Its milk output growth is quick, thanks to both old and new dairy methods.

Rapid Growth in Milk Output

In Pakistan, many small farmers use old ways to raise water buffaloes and local cow breeds.5 This has helped the country produce about 42 billion liters of milk each year.5

Traditional Dairy Practices

The dairy setup in Pakistan sticks to these traditions but is slowly moving towards better methods.5 With 63 million animals in its herds, Pakistan ranks third worldwide.5 About 35 million people work in dairy farming there.5

Yet, dairy farmers in Pakistan have some tough issues. These include low milk amounts from animals, not enough food for the animals, a lot of sicknesses among them, and old ways of farming.5 Karachi alone lacks about four million liters of milk each day.5 By 2015, Pakistan might need 3.6 billion more liters of milk to meet demand.5

Even with these troubles, Pakistan’s dairy sector is improving, making up 55.1% of its farming industry.5 By investing smartly and updating methods, Pakistan can grow more in the global dairy market.

China: The Emerging Dairy Market

China is now the fourth-largest milk producer globally.6 Over the years, its people have started to want more dairy products because they earn more and like different foods now.6 So, to provide for this need, China is improving its dairy industry. They are making bigger, high-tech farms.

Increasing Demand for Dairy Products

On average, people in China drink less dairy than the rest of the world,7 BUT their yearly desire for dairy will keep rising until 2032.7 Experts think China will start making more milk, too, up to 47.4 million metric tons by 2032.7 Yet, even with all this milk, China will still need to buy about 15 million metric tons in 2032.6

Modernization of Dairy Farming

China is working hard to keep up with the dairy demand by updating its dairy farms.6 The number of big dairy farms is going up. By 2025, most of China’s dairy production will come from these large, modern farms.67

China buys more dairy than any other country in the world.6 Still, it aims to make most of its dairy products at home, around 70% to 80%.67 This shows there is a chance for their dairy industry to grow even more to meet their demand.

Brazil: The Largest Dairy Producer in Latin America

Brazil leads Latin America in milk production. It churned out an impressive 35,944,056 tonnes in 2022.1 The nation’s dairy sector thrives in its climate. This climate allows for year-round dairy farming based on grass.

Favorable Climate for Dairy Farming

The warm, wet climate of Brazil is perfect for dairy farming. It means dairy cows can graze and produce milk all year long.8 This advantage helps Brazil stay at the top of dairy production in Latin America.

Prominent Dairy Cooperatives

Brazil’s dairy industry shines with its strong cooperatives. These groups help small-scale dairy farmers by giving them tools, tech, and market access.8 They also handle the selling and distribution of dairy goods. This support is key to Brazil’s dairy success in the region.

Brazil dairy farming

Europe’s Dairy Powerhouses

India and the U.S. lead in global milk production. Yet, Europe boasts major players too.9 Germany stands out as the sixth biggest milk producer in the world, creating over 33 million tonnes in 2020.10 It’s known for being super efficient and using top-notch technology. On the flip side, France shines for its abundant dairy heritage. They churned out 25 million tonnes of milk in 2022.10 Their dairy scene is famous for traditional cheese-making and top-tier dairy items that people worldwide love.

Germany: A Leader in Milk Production

10 Germany’s dairy industry plays a big role within Europe and across the globe. It puts a major effort into innovation and looking after the environment. This focus helps keep them at the top of the dairy game all over the world.

France: Renowned for Its Dairy Traditions

10 France is celebrated for its wide range of dairy delights, especially its world-famous cheeses. The French dairy field values tradition, lovingly crafting their products with unique flavors. This approach has made their dairy treats hugely popular globally.

CountryMilk Production (tonnes)Dairy Revenue (billion USD)
France25,028,85010Lactalis: $21.3 billion, Danone: $20.9 billion11

Largest Producer of Milk in the World: Key Factors

India is the top milk producer globally because of many reasons. The country’s climate helps a lot. It’s mostly tropical, making dairy farming possible all year.12

Climatic Conditions

India has a wide variety of dairy animals, like cows and buffalo. They use the latest breeding methods and take good care of their herds. This leads to more milk being produced.13

Breeding Practices and Herd Management

Government help is also significant, offering things like subsidies and advice. This support and investment in the industry have been critical for its success.13 Adding more processing plants, storage places, and ways to move products has boosted India’s dairy potential globally.

Government Policies and Support

Dairy Industry Infrastructure

India stands out as the world’s primary milk maker due to many factors. Its perfect climate for dairy farming throughout the year is key.12 There’s also a great variety of dairy animals with well-planned care. This keeps milk yields high.13 Government help, like funding and advice, has been vital too. It supports the dairy sector well.13 Also, with more processing, cold storage, and better transport, India can supply dairy to the world effectively.

Global Dairy Trade and Exports

The dairy trade worldwide is vital, led by top exporters. India, though the biggest milk producer, doesn’t export much. This is due to most of its milk being used at home.14 On the flipside, New Zealand, the European Union, and the U.S. are big in dairy exports. They sell products like cheese, butter, and powdered milk extensively.15 Their strong export activity affects dairy availability and prices in markets around the globe.

Major Exporters of Milk and Dairy Products

15 In 2022, Germany held the title of top dairy exporter. It saw a 12.3% increase to $9.8 billion in sales.15 The USA wasn’t far behind, experiencing a 21.7% growth to reach $5.9 billion. Its key markets were Mexico, the Philippines, and others.14 New Zealand leads the world in dairy exports, making up more than a quarter of global trade. It earned $11.2 billion in 2014 majorly from cheese and whole milk powder.

Impact on Local and International Markets

15 The global dairy market is worth about $800 billion, with cheese contributing a big portion.15 Cheese alone makes up over a third of all dairy trade.15 However, milk and cream are close behind. The world’s dairy exports reached $81.7 billion in the first nine months of 2022. This was an 11% leap from 2021 and significantly higher than 2020’s $65.4 billion.

15 Europe, facing milk production challenges, still thrives thanks to support and a strong market. The Netherlands, for example, upped its game with a 27.2% jump in milk and cream imports in 2022.15 And Germany is a top spot for dairy products, welcoming $8.4 billion in imports during the same period, showing a 9.9% increase from the year before.

15 New Zealand saw a decrease in exports to China but improved sales to other countries like Indonesia.15 The EU is also active in imports, especially of Swiss cheese. It’s increasing its trade with Ukraine as well.


India stands tall as the top milk production leader worldwide. It shows how strong its dairy industry is. Thanks to a mix of cattle and buffalo, good weather, and solid government backing, India leads in milk making. It overtook the U.S. back in 1997.16 India mainly serves its own milk needs while major exporters like New Zealand, the EU, and the U.S. influence the global dairy trade. They help bring dairy goods to people worldwide.16

With data for dairy rising around the globe, the teamwork among top producers and sellers is vital. This helps meet the wishes of dairy lovers everywhere.16 India has been key in the dairy field, along with other strong players. Together, they cater to the changing tastes and higher demands for dairy worldwide.


What is the largest milk-producing country in the world?

India is the leading milk producer worldwide since 1997. As of 2022, it produced 213,779,230 tonnes. This makes India the top producer of milk globally.

What factors have contributed to India’s dominance in milk production?

India’s top position in milk production is due to several key reasons. It has the perfect climate and a varied dairy herd, including cattle and water buffalo. The country also uses advanced breeding and management practices.In addition, government policies, support, and investments in dairy infrastructure are crucial. This includes processing facilities, cold storage, and transportation networks.

Who are the other major milk-producing countries in the world?

Following India, the top milk producers are the United States, Pakistan, China, and Brazil. In 2022, the U.S. produced 102,747,320 tonnes, making it the second largest. Pakistan, China, and Brazil followed with amounts of 62,557,950 tonnes, 39,914,930 tonnes, and 35,944,056 tonnes, respectively.

What role do dairy cooperatives play in the global dairy industry?

Dairy cooperatives are key in supporting small producers and improving access to resources. They help in both distributing and marketing dairy products. In areas like Brazil, cooperatives have helped the country become a leading dairy producer in Latin America.

How do technological advancements impact the dairy industry?

Technology has greatly enhanced the dairy industry’s productivity and efficiency. For example, the United States uses automated milking and advanced feeding systems. These improvements help in better herd management and have elevated the U.S. to the second spot in milk production globally.

What is the role of the global dairy trade in the world’s dairy industry?

The global dairy trade is vital in the dairy industry. Countries like New Zealand, the EU, and the U.S. are key players in the international market. Their trades significantly affect the dairy product availability and prices, worldwide.

Source Links


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *