CRISIL expects a sharp hike in milk procurement costs relative to milk retail prices to deal a huge blow to the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margins of dairy processors — especially private small and medium enterprises (SMEs) — in the current fiscal year (FY20).
The all-India milk procurement cost is estimated to have risen 19 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) for dairy processors over April-December 2019, and is expected to rise by 18-20 per cent for the full fiscal. The uptick in prices has been fuelled by a 5-6 per cent decline in milk production in the current fiscal year — due to high temperatures during April-June, and floods in July-August.
Retail milk prices rose by 3-4 per cent during April-December 2019, and are expected to rise 10 per cent during January-March 2020, thus closing this fiscal 5 per cent higher y-o-y.
The impact will be magnified in states such as Karnataka and Haryana, where state governments offer a subsidy of ~4-6 per litre on milk supplied to cooperatives. While large private players are able to match the price offered by cooperatives to obtain the quantity of milk they