Quarter pound of butter.
July 9, 2018

May U.S. Dairy Exports Keep Chugging Along

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

U.S. dairy exports in May were the third highest in history, with shipments of butterfat and whole milk powder more than doubling, reports the U.S. Dairy Export Council.


The boulder in the road, however, is what the trade war with Mexico and China will have on sales. Retaliatory tariffs from both countries went into full effect last week. The U.S. futures market lost an estimated $2.2 billion in value, or about $1.10/cwt, reports the National Milk Producers Federation.


The trade war now hangs over what had been a robust, record setting year for U.S. dairy exports. They shipped just shy of 200,000 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey products and lactose in May, up 17% from a year ago. The value of those sales was $505 million, up 1% from last year.


On a total solids basis, U.S. exports were 17.2% of U.S. milk production in May, down from 18.8% in April. May dairy imports were equal to 3.3% of U.S. production.


The biggest gains in May versus a year ago came in butter exports, up 105%. Butterfat shipments to Mexico were up 118%, and even sales to Canada grew 57%.


Lactose sales were up 40%, and non-fat dry milk and skim milk powder, which was up 20%. Whey exports grew 19%, and cheese sales grew 15%.


Read the full report on May dairy exports here.