Economists point to exports as the brightest constellation in the 2014 dairy outlook.
U.S. dairy exports in 2013 not only mark a fourth consecutive record year but a new, high watermark for the ninth time in 10 years.
U.S. dairy exports have risen some 30% in value over year-earlier levels to $6.7 billion, says Alan Levitt with the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
In volume, exports have climbed by about 18% to 3.9 billion pounds of milk solids. U.S. dairy exports are on track to account for an impressive 15.54% of the nation’s 2013 milk output. That’s by far a record and compares to the recent normal of 13%. From May to October, milk exports accounted for nearly 17% of U.S. milk production.
"Ten years ago, the U.S. exported just 5% of our milk production," according to Levitt. "That means we have found new markets for 10% to 12% of our milk.