Japanese dairy group warns of possible milk glut

A Japanese dairy industry group says producers fear an oversupply of milk towards winter despite production adjustments in the face of falling demand.

The Japan Dairy Association on Friday released its latest supply-demand estimate for the year through March.

The association says raw milk production will fall by 1.5 percent on the year to 7.41 million tons. That's 50,000 tons less than the previous estimate in January.

More dairy farmers have been getting out of the business due to surging feed prices. The number of dairy cows also fell in response to a decline in demand.

The association warns that milk consumption could fall further after prices of milk and yogurt products are raised in August and school lunches will not be served during winter holidays.

Association executive Uchihashi Masatoshi said prices of dairy products have been raised repeatedly in a short period of time, and consumption will fall unless producers can make consumers understand the need for price hikes.

Uchihashi also said the association will promote the benefits of nutritious milk and dairy products.