The Belgian dairy industry recorded a turnover of €3.3bn (US$3.8bn) for 2002, a fall of 9.0% year-on-year.

The fall in turnover was due to high milk prices and the ongoing unfavourable exchange rate of the US dollar against the Euro.

Average milk prices fell by 8.2% to €28.41 per 100 litres, according to Belgian Confederation of Milk Industry general secretary, Renaat Debergh.

Dairy exports dropped 9.0% to €1.8bn, accounting for 50% of turnover. Milk imports increased by 1.1% to 3bn litres.

Average annual output of Belgian dairy farmers stood at 195,000 litres in 20002, reported the Dutch News Digest.