Americans capitalize on steady global demand, faltering production from other suppliers and favorable pricing.
Source: U.S. Dairy Export Council
Capitalizing on steady global demand, faltering production from other suppliers and favorable pricing, U.S. dairy exporters shipped record volumes in the first half of 2013.
Americans gained share against their major competitors as well: In the first half, U.S. exports of milk powder, cheese, butterfat and whey were up 9%, while New Zealand shipments were up 4%, Argentina was down 11%, the EU was down 9% (January-May) and Australia was down 10% (January-May).
In the second quarter alone, U.S. exports were up 14% while New Zealand exports were down 7%.
In the first half, U.S. exports were valued at $3.17 billion, up 16% from a year ago. Second quarter sales were up 28%. Improvement in 2013 has been driven by gains in exports to Southeast Asia (skim milk powder, sweetened condensed milk, lactose); China (SMP and whey); and Algeria (SMP).
Exports were higher among all major product categories, and to virtually all major markets. The biggest difference between this year and last is the growth in sales of milk powder. In the second quarter, exports of NDM/SMP were 159,365 tons, up 29% from the prior year. Algeria took 7,131 tons (vs. virtually nothing last year), and China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand also increased purchases.
On a total-solids basis, exports were equivalent to 16.5% of U.S. milk production in June, slightly below the record mark hit in May. Meanwhile, imports as a percent of milk-solids production in June were 2.8%.