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The Hindu shared four possible scenarios for a third wave in June 2021. The new variant of Omicron is pushing the whole world towards an abnormal future. Are we ready for this future ? We must also try to anticipate the impact of the third wave on the dairy industry.

In the first scenario, the daily new cases could be as high as 28,395, which is the same as the second wave. In the second scenario, it could be 36,914, which is 30% more than the second wave. According to the third estimate, the number shoots to 45,432, which is 60% more. In the fourth projection the case count is around 15,000.

The first wave of Covid took everyone by surprise. India came out as a winner with minimum levels of casualties per million heads in the world. We gained a lot of insights during the first wave. However at the time of the second wave we acted more complacent. We believed more in conducting elections and organising religious functions during that period. We paid heavily for that and number of Corona cases almost quadrupled at 0.4 millions against the earlier peak of 0.1 million during the first wave. That reminds me of a famous quote by Alvin Tofler in his legendary book “The Third Wave”.

Quote by Alvin Toffler

Alvin Toffler Quotes Illiterate. QuotesGram

Our desk research has shown that India is lagging behind the UK and other developed nations in terms of Covid spread since the beginning. India may have seen the arrival of the third wave anytime from mid of January to February on the basis of the current situation in the UK.

Let us examine the Indian dairy scenario during that period in the next year. Most of the states will have the arrival of flush season. The consumption of dairy products like Ghee, butter, cheese, paneer etc will be at its peak. Out of home dining at hotels and restaurants will be in full swing. The marriage season will also be continuing with higher demands of milk and milk products.

Impact of third wave : Likely scenario

Third wave will first impact the Horeca as well as the consumption at the marriages. The processors will have to immediately have an extra 20-25% of milk at their disposal and that too in the peak of the flush. This may create the following scenarios.

a. The milk prices rally will halt and the farmers prices will touch rock bottom.

b. The Processors will be forced to convert more of their collected milk into commodities. This will increase the dairy commodities stocks exorbitantly and crash dairy commodities prices. This would also mean that the best time for institutional buying may be around the same period.

c. These stocks will also create a third consecutive summer with low prices of SMP and butter.

d. If the third wave gets severe ( which we pray almighty to not to happen) then the artificial insemination of animals which got calved during the last quarter of 2021 will be delayed. This will lead to late calving in 2022 thus disturbing the flush again as this year.

e. The last quarter for most of the dairies (with large share of value added products) may get impacted negatively on both top as well as bottom line.

Key questions to be answered

We only hope that the government will learn from the past and avoid all possible triggers for the third wave to get grimmer. There are three instant questions which the government must answer and plan their future course accordingly.

a. What is the severity of the Omicron variant in terms of spreadability and mortality ?

b. What could be a possible course of treatment of this variant (as on date it is being considered a variant with mild symptoms)?

c. What is the efficacy of current vaccines in India on this variant of the virus?

I believe that the third wave will not exceed the second wave in terms of its severity. I also think that at most the fourth scenario from The Hindu research would be the maxima of the third wave ( if at all it comes). Let us hope that the dairy industry will continue to progress well as it is happening now.

A Dairy blog by Kuldeep Sharma Chief editor Dairynews7x7