Cheese, Butter Drive Export Growth
Exports of U.S. dairy products continues to grow, with the latest August report showing the second-highest sales volume over the past 10 months. Cheese sales showed the highest growth, with butter close behind. Both gains offset lackluster sales of other products.
According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), while export volume was up 2% over August of 2016, sales values were up 17% which is slightly ahead of the monthly average since October 2016. USDEC says export volumes to most destinations were above year-ago levels, ingredient sales to Southeast Asia have slowed.
Cheese exports in August grew by 35% over last year. Australia was a significant buyer in August, with volumes this year nearly triple the volume secured in August 2016. In other areas, Mexico was up 32%, Japan up 113% and volume going to the Middle East/North Africa region was the highest since December 2015.
In the June-August period, U.S. suppliers exported 8,219 tons of butterfat, up 158 percent from last year. Canada has been the major customer, taking 4,187 tons in three months, more than triple year-earlier purchases.
While cheese and butter sales continue to grow, shipments of nonfat dry milk, skimmed milk powder, whey and lactose were down 21% in August.