U.S. Dairy Exports Reach Record Levels in April

11:35AM Jun 07, 2013
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Gains were led by an unprecedented level of milk powder shipments.

Source: U.S. Dairy Export Council

Capitalizing on steady global demand, declining supply from other exporters and favorable pricing relationships, U.S. dairy exporters moved record volumes overseas in April, the U.S Dairy Export Council (USDEC) reported this week.

U.S. exports of dry ingredients (milk powder, whey products, lactose), cheese and butterfat topped 168,000 tons in April, up 20% compared with March (on a daily-average basis).

Total value was $558.8 million, up 16% from March, and also a new high.

Top 10 Markets for U.S. Dairy Exports

(January to April 2013,
and change vs. prior year)

1. Mexico - $425 million, +3%
2. Southeast Asia - $368 million,+10%
3. Canada - $215 million, +18%
4. Middle East/North Africa - $207 million, +19%
5. China - $135 million, -3%
6. Japan - $110 million, +7%
7. Oceania - $94 million, +43%
8. South Korea - $88 million, +22%
9. South America - $86 million, +11%
10. Caribbean - $61 million, +11%

Source: US Dairy Export Council

Gains were led by an unprecedented level of milk powder shipments, USDEC noted.

April exports of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) were 55,187 tons; the previous high was 47,787 tons in October 2010. Exports were equivalent to 61% of U.S. NDM/SMP production in April, leading to a steep draw-down in manufacturers’ stocks during the month. April also marked the third straight month of improved export volumes. February-April shipments were 38% higher than volumes posted in the previous three months (November-January).

Shipments of cheese, WPC and lactose also continue to exceed prior-year levels. Cheese exports in the first four months of the year were up 7% vs. a year ago, WPC was up 16% and lactose was up 11%. In addition, fluid milk/cream (+62%) and ice cream (+52%) posted very strong increases in the January-April period.

Dry whey exports improved in April, posting their highest volume since May 2012. April exports of 19,647 were up 6% vs. a year ago.

On a total-solids basis, exports were equivalent to 15.7% of U.S. milk production in April, easily the most ever. Meanwhile, imports as a percent of milk-solids production were 2.9%.