The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) recently announced that it has developed a Dairy Import Demand Index (DIDI). This members-only index will help gauge global dairy demand and forecast how various macroeconomic trends might affect dairy import volumes and consumption in the near term, USDEC officials say.

“Customs bureaus and other trade and agriculture arms of federal governments the world over publish dairy import and export data, so determining import volumes and changes is relatively straightforward,” USDEC officials note. “But world dairy market analysis has historically suffered from a lack of tools identifying how price and other market economic factors relate to dairy demand growth.”

The debut DIDI published this week as a Global Dairy Market Outlook Special Report and will be updated twice a year beginning in April 2013. The initial report explains DIDI methodology, presents an historical look at world dairy import demand going back to 2006 and includes DIDI calculations for China, Mexico and Southeast Asia.

“DIDI bears watching as a real-time measure of trends in global dairy demand and current economic conditions,” USDEC staff says.