National Milk's Fourth Quarter 2009 Import Watch
reports that milk protein concentrate (MPC) imports declined 18% in 2009 to 51,775 metric tons. This is also the lowest level of MPC imports in five years.
This afternoon, USDA in its Dairy Products
report released for the first time U.S. domestic production of MPCs. NASS report U.S. producers made about 42,146 metric tons of MPC in 2009. That now represents roughly 45% of MPC available to U.S. food manufacturers, and might explain why imports of MPCs are dropping.
NMPF's Import Watch also reports casein imports down a whopping 39% in 2009, again their lowest level in five years.
While Cheddar cheese imports were up 20% in 2009, total cheese imports (including the surge in Cheddar) dropped 12%. Butter imports were up 35% for the year, due to a surge in the second and third quarter of 2009. But butter buyers backed off in the fourth quarter, with levels substantially below 2008, reports NMPF.