German dairy companies recorded a total turnover of €19.2bn (US$20.8bn) for 2002, an 8.6% fall from the previous year.

The German milk industry association, Milchindustrieverband (MIV) said the decrease was in part due to lower exports and a general downturn in the dairy sector.

The dairy sector posted a 5.2% year-on-year turnover increase in 2001, said MIV chairman Manfred W. Tag.

Milk production in Germany in 2002 was unchanged from 2002 at around 5.5 million tonnes. Average milk consumption was 64 litres per capita.

Cheese production was down by 0.3% to 1.9 million tonnes. Cheese consumption was 21.6kg per capita in Germany in 2002, compared with 24kg per capita in France.

German dairy exports fell by 10% to €3.2bn, mainly due to lower exports to Italy, reported the German News Digest.