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Dairy Exports Strong Through February

April 3, 2020

Jim Dickrell

Despite probable shipping disruptions to world dairy trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, U.S. dairy exports were strong through February.

It was the sixth straight month of stronger year-over-year levels. “But with the break in global demand in March [due to the pandemic], volumes are likely to be lower in the months ahead,” says market analysists with the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

U.S. exporters shipped 170,556 metric tons of dairy products in February, up 3 percent over last year. The value of those exports reached $529 million, up 9 percent. (All values percentage changes have been adjust for leap day.)

Product-by-product export results were mixed:

• Whey volumes were up 17 percent, with January-February whey shipments to China up 24 percent.

• Milk protein concentrate sales, though just 3,885 tons, were up 30 percent in February and at their highest level in 5 years.

• Cheese exports were at an 9-month high, but down 8 percent from last February. Mexican cheese imports were at a 20-month high in February though sales declined to South Korea, Japan and Australia.

• Nonfat dry milk and skim milk powder sales were down 5 percent.

On a milk solids basis, February exports were equivalent to 14.6% of U.S. milk production.


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