According to Chandramogan, the sector hasn’t still reached the pre-Covid levels of consumption. “Overall, the market is still about 5-6 percent lower than last year’s consumption,” he added. Amul maintains a comfortable stock position on SMP. “There is no pressure on either side — demand or supply of SMP. We don’t expect supply or demand concerns for SMP in 2021 as we had witnessed in 2020,” said RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), which owns Amul brand.
A spokesperson for Mother Dairy said the business was impacted due to 2020 lockdown days. “However, the business especially for the household segment has returned to pre-Covid levels in the recent months, while the institutional segment is on its way to recovery.”
But the dairy major believes that lower offtake of SMP coupled with increased production and lower exports will cause higher SMP stocks.Offtake still poor
The consuming industry, however, believes that the bulk segment offtake is still low but with inquiries for February and March coming up, the demand may take off for summer.
Anuvrat Pabrai from Indian Ice-cream Manufacturers’ Association (IICMA), said, “The bulk demand for SMP hasn’t taken off in a big way. Certain segments of HoReCa continue to face difficulties. The recent recovery in the prices is mainly due to festival demand for Indian sweets and dairy products. But going forward, we don’t see a big spike in the SMP prices.”