December 12, 2018

Despite Poor Sales To China, Exports On Record Pace

 |  By: Mike Opperman

While sales of U.S. dairy products to China have fallen off dramatically due to the retaliatory tariffs, U.S. dairy exports are on track for a record year on both a volume and value basis, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

On a total milk solids basis, U.S. exports were equivalent to 15.3% of U.S. production in October. That brings the year-to-date total to 16.3%, far above the previous calendar year record of 15.4% set in 2013. 

Shipments of milk powder, whey, lactose, cheese and butter fat to China were down 47% in October, while exports elsewhere were up 14%. Large gains in sales to Southeast Asia and Mexico helped rally the export troops.

According to USDEC, in the four months since China imposed tariffs, U.S. whey exports were down 36% compared with 2017. Skim milk powder sales were down 54%, whole milk powder sales were down 97% and cheese exports were down 56%. On a value basis, total dairy exports to China were down 36% in the July-October period when tariffs were imposed. 

For a full report on export data through October, click here