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A giant dairy cattle statue in Jilin, Jilin Province of China. Photo: Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

People in China are consuming more dairy products in the form of baked goods and beverages than ever before, despite the fact that milk products have not been traditionally used in Chinese cuisine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Milk powder prices have reached multiyear highs as a result of the surge in dairy demand from China, which is good news for milk producers around the world who have weathered several years of low returns.

By the numbers: Prices for skim-milk powder, an ingredient in ice cream, chocolate, cakes and breads, have increased by 26% to 47% in the U.S., Europe and Oceania in the past year.

  • "In October, the average price for the commodity across the three regions was $2,583 a metric ton, its highest average level since October 2014, according to data from the U.S. Dairy Export Council," per the WSJ.
  • Prices for whole-milk powder are up about 13% on the year.

The big picture: The U.S. is not a significant supplier of milk powder to China, but American dairy producers still benefit from rising demand. New Zealand has benefitted the most from China’s demand for imported milk products.

Go deeper: U.S. farmers could really use some help

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.