Export Value Up 34% Over Last May
Robust exports to Mexico, including record shipments of cheese, drove total U.S. dairy export value to a two-year high in May, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). U.S. exports were $508.9 million, up 34% from a year ago. Exporters shipped 169,648 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose, up 15% from last May.
On a total milk solids basis, U.S. exports were equivalent to 14.7% of U.S. milk production in May. Imports were equivalent to 3.1% of production.
Nearly 30% of U.S. exports in May went to Mexico. South-of-the-border shipments were valued at $152 million, 71% greater than last year. Cheese exports were 13,565 tons, the most ever, up 75% (+5,835 tons). Nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) volume was 29,772 tons, the second-most ever, up 62% (+11,408 tons).
Among other top markets, sales to China (+48%), Canada (+29%) and Japan (+84%) also were up significantly.
In the first five months of 2017, U.S. exports of NDM/SMP and whey products ran at record levels. Exporters shipped 58,598 tons of NDM/SMP in May, up 31% year-over-year. In addition to increased sales to Mexico, exporters boosted exports to China (+1,925 tons), Peru (+1,339 tons) and Japan (+1,235 tons). Shipments to Southeast Asia were below year-ago levels (-1,654 tons) for the fourth straight month.
Cheese exports in May reached 35,409 tons, up 48% from last May and the most since March 2014. Besides Mexico, shipments were above year-ago levels to South Korea (+1,364 tons), Japan (1,187 tons) and Central America (+831 tons).