Dairy Exports Still at or Near Record Highs
April 5, 2022
U.S. dairy exports grew 1.2% by volume in February, compared to February 2021, according to export data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Two months into 2022, total exports were 0.26% larger than in the same period a year earlier. In February, exports to Mexico and Canada, two of U.S. dairy’s most significant markets, grew by 1.5% and 34.3%, respectively, while total shipments to China fell 3.7% below February 2021. Whey exports to China faltered, with the United States exporting almost 41 million pounds in February, down 12.8 million pounds from the same month in 2021.
Together January and February whey exports to China plunged 31.4% against the same period in 2021. Nonfat dry milk (NDM) exports to China remained strong, totaling nearly 9.9 million pounds and jumping 82% vs. February 2021. Year to date through February, the United States exported a whopping 87%, nearly 7.9 million pounds, more NDM than in the comparable period last year.
Despite strong demand from China, total U.S. NDM exports fell by 11.5% year over year to 139.7 million pounds; however, NDM exports were the third-largest ever for February. Exports declined to Mexico, Indonesia, and Vietnam by more than 5% compared to February 2021. U.S. butter and cheese exports grew, with February butter exports weighing in at a hefty 11.2 million pounds, the largest since 2014. Furthermore, the United States was a net exporter of butter for the second month in a row, with net exports at 5.9 million pounds. Butter exports to Canada, Mexico, and South Korea were greater than in February 2021. Cheese exports of 72.6 million pounds were the largest February exports on record.
The Global Dairy Trade price index fell for the second time in as many events today, decreasing 1%. Lower prices in the fat complex drove the overall decline, with butter, anhydrous milk fat, and whole milk powder falling to $6,891/MT, $6,908/MT, and $4,532/MT, respectively.