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Dairy exports could achieve a 15% growth rate

Corey Geiger, Managing Editor

September 9, 2021

With sales of $6.5 billion in 2020, U.S. dairy exports could net $7.3 billion by the end of the current fiscal year. What’s the feasibility of achieving that growth rate?

Extremely likely.

USDA ends it tracking annually on September 30. As for the 15% growth pegged in the headline, that would come to realization if the $7.3 billion in sales for 2022 comes to fruition.

In its quarterly publication Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade, USDA raised its dairy product exports by $300 million to $7.3 billion for the sales year ending September 30, 2021. In recent months, higher sales volume and unit sales to China have led to growth in skim milk powder, whey, and whey product sales.

Price signals indicate this trend could remain in place as the seven-product mix at Global Dairy Trade rose by 4% in every-other-week trading on September 7, 2021. Skim milk powder led the growth moving up 7.3%.

On to 2022 projections

USDA raised its forecast for the upcoming sales year from $7.3 to $7.5 billion. The additional $200 million in sales could result from stronger demand for skimmed milk powder and cheese to customers in Mexico and Asia. Another region that has become stronger and stronger importers of U.S. milk, in the form of dairy products, is Indonesia and Vietnam.

Even though domestic milk production in the U.S. continues to grow each year, so does the U.S. dairy export’s share of that production. In July, dairy product exports soaked up 17.7% of the U.S. milk supply. If port congestion, container availability, and labor all improved, that share could grow even higher.


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