Leap Year Helps Dairy Export Sales Numbers
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.