February 7, 2019

Dairy Exports Slump In November

 |  By: Mike Opperman

U.S. dairy exports fell off in November, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), halting the momentum built up over previous months. Shipments were lower across all product categories.

It looks like the retaliatory tariffs are having the biggest impact. In the five months since the tariffs were put in place U.S. exports to China were off 34% overall, with whey down 36% and cheese and milk powder exports dwindling down to negligible volumes, according to USDEC data.  

Exports to Mexico have declined as well. While U.S. cheese export volume grew 2% in the first half of 2018 over the same period in 2017, those exports dropped 4% from July through November when the tariffs were in place, they report. 

Regardless of the decline, and with one month left to be reported, USDEC says 2018 exports are still on pace for a single-year record. But slower performance during the second half of the year eroded the momentum gained during the first half. 

November shipments accounted for 13.9% of milk solids production, bringing year-to-date 2018 exports to 16.1% of production.  The annual average from the previous five years is 14.7%, with the record being 15.4% in 2013, according to USDEC. 

Total U.S. exports were worth $442.2 million in November, down 12% from November 2017. However, in the first 11 months of 2018, the value of dairy exports was up 3% over the same period in 2017, while total volume was up 12%.