U.S. Milk Powder Exports Hit Record High in May

10:27AM Jul 10, 2014
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NDM/SMP sales were the most ever in a single month.

Source: U.S Dairy Export Council

U.S. exporters shipped 60,358 tons of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) in May, up 8% from last year and the most ever in a single month.

The big difference was nearly 25,000 tons of sales to Mexico, up 58% from a year ago and also a one-month high on sales to our largest single-country customer.

In the first five months of the year, U.S. NDM/SMP exports were more than 240,000 tons, up 10% from last year’s pace. U.S. exporters also continue to expand shipments of whole milk powder (+65% in May) and milk protein concentrate (+97%). Major customers for WMP were Vietnam and Algeria. Top buyers for MPC were New Zealand and Morocco.

Heavy sales of milk powder offset declining exports of cheese, butterfat and whey protein concentrate. Cheese exports in May were 31,779 tons, the lowest figure of the year (on a daily-average basis). For the second straight month, South Korea was our largest customer; in April and May, exports to South Korea were up 49% vs. a year ago, while exports to Mexico were down 20%.

US Exports graph 7 10 14

Butterfat exports in May were just 5,401 tons, down 9% from last year, and the lowest since April 2013. Shipments to the Middle East/North Africa region were down 18%. May volumes were about half the pace established in the first quarter 2014, reflecting the growing disparity between higher U.S. prices and lower world prices.

Total whey exports were 44,297 tons in May, down 7% from a year ago. Whey protein concentrate exports were down 18% from last year’s lofty levels, while sweet whey was up 2% vs. last May and whey protein isolate was up 29%. China remained the major customer for U.S. whey products, but May imports were down 3% from last year. Over the last year, WPI exports were 39% higher than the prior year.

In total, U.S. suppliers shipped 187,375 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in May, up 3% from last year. Total value of all exports was $677.6 million, up 9%.U.S. exports (on a total milk solids basis) were equivalent to 16.8% of U.S. milk solids production in May. Imports were equivalent to just 2.6% of production, matching the lowest percentage since May 2011.