Export Forecast Raised $200 Million
USDA raised the forecast for dairy product exports to $5.8 billion during 2018, up $200 million from February projections.
The report cites a higher pace of shipments of milk powder, cheese, and whey products during the second quarter of the fiscal year. “Import demand for U.S. dairy products is strong in Mexico, China, and other Asian markets, and U.S. prices are expected to be competitive in international markets,” analysts report.
The increase is part of a slight increase in overall livestock, pork and poultry exports and a $3 billion increase in the overall agriculture export forecast, which now sits at $142.5 billion. The increase in total exports is due mostly to increases in the exports of corn and cotton.
While Mexico and China represent top trading partners for U.S. dairy products, those countries are also two of the most volatile markets (along with Canada) with regard to ongoing trade negotiations. Agriculture commodities, including dairy products, could become objects of retaliation if tariffs are imposed on critical goods and services, likely forcing a readjustment of export projections.
In March the U.S. set a record for dairy export volume at nearly 205,000 tons of dairy product. That equated to about 17.3 % of annual dairy production, close to the 20% goal set by the U.S. Dairy Export Council.