Though it’s still not cost effective (or very logical) to bathe or do your laundry with milk, in Germany, if you’re looking for a bottled drink, a liter of milk might cost you less than a liter of bottled water thanks to a collapsing dairy market in the European power.
A number of factors have caused Germany’s plunging milk prices. According to The Local, the EU ended quotas on milk production last year, leading to increased production across the entire union. Meanwhile, as Munchies points out, the potential for exporting milk has also dwindled with Russia banning Western imports and Chinese demand decreasing. Not to mention that the euro in general has been weak.
The result is that, this month, well-known discount grocer Aldi cut milk prices to just 46 cents for a liter, down from the previous cost of 59 cents. By comparison, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gallon of whole milk cost $3.16 last month in the US – or about 83 cents per liter.
The collapsing market is leading to unrest among Germany’s 75,000 dairy farmers, including protests outside of the office of the Federal Agriculture Minister demanding more financial help and a new quota system. But Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt doesn’t seem to want to budge. “The milk crisis needs to be solved by the market,” he was quoted as saying.
If the market is any indication, dairy farmers should probably start getting into the bottled water business. Can the government at least provide education grants to help with that?