Exports Set Another Record
U.S. dairy exports set a new total volume record again in April, surpassing the record set in March. According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), suppliers shipped 213,115 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose during the month, up 31% from April 2017. U.S. exports were valued at $518 million, 1.7% greater than in March and 15% larger than levels in April 2017. On a dollar-basis, exports were the highest total value since April 2015.
It's easy to see why the dairy industry has had such high concern for recent trade disputes with Mexico and China. Shipments of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) to Southeast Asia were up by 70% and sales to Mexico were the fourth-highest ever. Shipments of lactose to China, for the third month in a row, were at record highs. Overall NDM/SMP exports were up 37% from last year. Sales to Mexico increased 30% from the previous year.
On a total milk solids basis, U.S. exports were equivalent to 18.8% of U.S. milk production in April. Imports were equivalent to just 3.1%. This puts USDEC closer to its goal of exporting 20% of U.S. production on an annual basis.