Why Milk Is Now Cheaper Than Water In Germany

Milk is now cheaper than water in Germany

Thirsty in Germany? You can now quench your thirst with milk for less than the cost of a bottle of water. While this sounds like a weight lifter's dream (and a bit like the days when beer was cheaper than water in the Czech Republic), it is actually a sign of rough times for the country's dairy farmers.

Grocery stores in Germany, like popular supermarket Aldi, are selling milk for 52 cents a liter (which comes out to less than two dollars a gallon). That means farmers are making around 20 cents a liter, less than half of what they were making in 2013. The surplus of milk is the result of several different factors, Munchies reports: Russia no longer imports the beverage, the demand for milk from Western sources has dropped in China and the European Union ended its quotas on milk last year. This situation is also what is, in part, behind the cheese surplus in the U.S.

The result? Some of the country's dairy farmers have been forced to go out of business. The German Association of Milk Farmers is seeing bankruptcy protection increase, and many have organized protests outside the office of the country's minister of agriculture, Christian Schmidt, who has said, "The milk crisis needs to be solved by the market." The EU has promised to help, but the $561 million pledged to dairy farmers will be spread across the continent.