Imports from key customers were mostly higher in early 2013, led by record purchases from China.
Source: U.S. Dairy Export Council
Imports from key customers were mostly higher in early 2013, led by record purchases from China, the U.S. Dairy Export Council reported in its recent "Global Dairy Market Outlook" newsletter.
In January-February, China imported 231,378 tons of milk powder, whey products, cheese and butterfat, up 12% from the prior year. Gains were driven by a 50% increase in purchases of whole milk powder (WMP) vs. last year.
In addition, cheese imports were up 21%. This offset declines in purchases of skim milk powder (SMP), whey and butterfat.
Russia imports pulled back from Q4 levels, but January-February totals came in 19% above last year. Cheese and butterfat purchases were up 12% and 56%, respectively.
Mexico started the year strong, with January imports up 11% vs. last year. Cheese and whey purchases were up by more than a third and butterfat imports nearly doubled, but nonfat dry milk (NDM)/SMP imports were down 12%.
Japan imports were flat in the first two months of the year.
Data is not complete for Southeast Asia, but purchases in the early part of 2013 appear to be flat across the region.
South Korea posted a 19% gain in the first two months of the year, led by a 42% increase in cheese imports.