June 5, 2017

Exports Up for 11th Straight Month

 |  By: Mike Opperman

As U.S. producers keep growing production, and processing facilities keep running at or over capacity, the need to grow export opportunities is critical. So far global markets have responded, as the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) reports that in April U.S. dairy export volumes topped year-ago levels for the 11th straight month.

Exports of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose were up 12 percent over last April. Product values remained strong as well, as overseas sales were valued at $461 million, up 23%.

Even as NAFTA negotiations on the horizon, sales to Mexico were up 9% from last year. Among other top markets, USDEC reports that sales to China and Southeast Asia were up 91% and 23% respectively, while sales to Japan were the highest in 21 months.

USDEC says that in the first four months of 2017, U.S. exports of nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder, whey products and lactose were running at record levels.

Cheese exports in April were up 27% over last April. Australia continues to grow as a customer, and USDEC predicts that it will pass Japan in the near future as the third largest importer of U.S. cheese.

In other product news:

  • Whey products were up 11% in April, led by an 51% increase in sales to China
  • Fluid milk and cream exports have been steady this year, but were up 18% in April versus last year. Increases sales to Mexico and Taiwan offset a slump in sales to China/Hong Kong.
  • Shipments of milk protein concentrate, butterfat and whole milk powder remain negligible with less than 2,200 tons sold in each product for April.

For a full summary of USDEC monthly trade data, click here.