The Whey Protein Concentrate 34 (WPC 34) is a higher value whey product, which is obtained by removing sufficient non-protein constituents from pasteurized whey, resulting in a finished dry product containing >34% protein. The main applications are for dairy, bakery, snack and confectionery since it is an economical source of dairy solids, that provides high concentrations of lactose, proteins and minerals.
The Mintec price for US WPC-34 has rocketed with an increase of 35% y-o-y to reach USD 2,551/MT on the week of 25th of August. The main reason for this price increase is the application of WPC 34 as an element for infant formula and attempts by the Chinese government to invigorate domestic infant formula manufacturing. The country relied heavily on imported baby food, especially after the globally reported scandal caused by the domestic product melamine contamination and since the “one-child policy” restrictions were lifted at the end of 2015. Consequently, China saw a sudden increase in the number of newborns, doubling China’s infant formula imports from 180,000 tonnes in 2015 to 356,000 tonnes in 2019. However, in 2020, infant milk formula imports declined to 348,000 tonnes due to the increase in domestic manufacturing, conversely, WPC 34 imports rose during the same period due to the increase in domestic infant formula production.