Even so, U.S. dairy exports in September were up 36% from year-earlier levels.
U.S. dairy exports in September cooled vs. prior months but were still up significantly from a year ago, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) reports.
Declining month-over-month sales were mostly a reflection of seasonally low output of milk powder, whey products and cheese. For instance, production of nonfat dry milk (NDM) and skim milk powder (SMP) in September was just 59,240 tons, down from a peak of more than 93,000 tons in May. Even so, U.S. suppliers exported 77% of their NDM/SMP production during September, and exports were up 36% from last year, USDEC says.
In addition to milk powder, cheese, lactose and whey export volumes tracking at record highs this year, U.S. exports of butterfat and WMP have improved in recent months. In the third quarter, butterfat exports were up 283% from a year ago, and the United States exported nearly 16% of its butter production in the July-September period. Meanwhile, WMP exports were up 235% in Q3.
On a volume basis, exporters shipped 157,267 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose during September, up 22% from the prior year. On a value basis, U.S. dairy exports were nearly $593 million in September, up 48%. That brought year-to-date export values to $4.92 billion, 26% ahead of last year’s pace.
Pricing relationships remain favorable for U.S. suppliers, and global demand is steady. Oceania and European supply is recovering, creating more competitive pressure, but the United States has continued to gain share of the global market throughout 2013.
On a total-solids basis, exports were equivalent to 16.6% of U.S. milk production in September. Meanwhile, imports as a percent of milk-solids production in September were 2.6%.