Mexico, Vietnam and South Korea were major buyers of U.S. dairy products in June. (Photo: USDEC)
Nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder shipments reached record levels, helping boost exports to 17.3% of U.S. milk production.
Source: U.S. Dairy Export Council
Nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) exports reached record levels in June, topping 60,000 tons for the second straight month. Once again, sales to Mexico (24,735 tons, +72% vs. a year ago) were particularly heavy. Vietnam (6,432 tons, +244%) also was a major buyer.
In the first half of the year, U.S. NDM/SMP exports were 300,764 tons, up 13% from last year’s record pace. U.S. manufacturers exported 55% of their NDM/SMP production in the first half of the year. In the first half, exports of WMP were more than double what they were a year ago. January-June shipments were 30,292 tons, up 132%.
Cheese volumes remained strong as well. June shipments totaled 33,930 tons, up 33% from last year and the second-highest figure ever. For the third straight month, the largest customer was South Korea; in the second quarter, U.S. suppliers shipped 21,047 tons to South Korea, 62% more than last year. Sales to Japan also improved significantly, with second quarter exports of 18,033 tons, up 162%. In the first half of the year, U.S. cheese exports were 199,013 tons, up 34% from last year’s record pace.
With the reversal in pricing relationships (U.S. butter prices turning more expensive than Oceania or Europe offerings), U.S. butterfat exports have slowed considerably. Second-quarter sales were 36% less than first-quarter sales.
Since peaking in March, whey exports have declined for three straight months. In May-June, exports were 6% less than a year ago, with WPC exports in particular down 14%. Lactose exports also are lagging; in the second quarter, lactose export volume was down 13% from a year ago.
By value, June dairy exports were $669.2 million, up 14% from a year ago. That brings year-to-date sales to $3.92 billion, up 26%. In total, U.S. suppliers shipped 182,743 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in June, up 6% from last year. In the first half of the year, aggregate volume of key products was 1,078,272 tons, up 14%.
U.S. exports (on a total milk solids basis) were equivalent to 17.3% of U.S. milk solids production in June. Imports were equivalent to just 2.7% of production.