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April 6, 2016

Leap Year Helps Dairy Export Sales Numbers

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The extra day in February due to leap year (21 business days in 2016 vs. 20 in 2015) helped boost total export dairy sales about 4% over last February. 

U.S. exporters moved 143,069 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in February, which were equivalent to 13.4% of U.S. milk production. That’s the largest percentage of production exported since last October, reports Alan Levitt with the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Imports amounted to 3.8% of production.

The bad news is that the value of these exports was just $375.2 million, down 16% when adjusted for leap year. In order to maintain sales, U.S. exporters had to aggressively price product. For example, non-fat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) sales averaged just $2,047/ton, or 93¢/lb. This is the lowest price received since 2009. “U.S. suppliers continued to move close to half of their NDM/SMP production overseas, alleviating further inventory build-up,” says Levitt.

You can read Levitt’s entire blog on February export activity here.