March SMP/NDM Exports Shatter Records
May 5, 2021
The United States exported more than 190 million pounds of skim milk powder (SMP) and nonfat dry milk (NDM) combined in March, a new record for the month and a 28% surge from March 2020. Year to date, SMP/NDM exports of 487 million pounds climbed 19% from first-quarter 2020.
Mexico took delivery of 59 million pounds of SMP/NDM in March, a 29% jump from the previous March. While powder exports to Mexico in 2020 were weaker than in 2019, primarily due to the impact of Covid-19 on the Mexican economy, the tide has been shifting. Year-to-date SMP/NDM exports have increased 16% through March of this year to nearly 170 million pounds. SMP/NDM exports to China were also up markedly from 2020. In March, the U.S. exported 12.3 million pounds to China, compared to only 37,000 lbs. the previous March. During first-quarter 2020, U.S. exports of SMP/NDM to China were 900,000 lbs., compared to more than 21 million pounds this year.
March SMP/NDM exports to Algeria and Egypt experienced a big lift. Algeria, which received just 1 million pounds of U.S. SMP/NDM last March, imported more than 8.3 million pounds of U.S. product this March. Year to date, SMP/NDM exports to Algeria were almost 12 million pounds. U.S. exporters sent 9.1 million pounds of SMP/ NDM to Egypt in March and more than 15 million pounds in first quarter 2021, a 67% increase from the same period last year. When Algeria and Egypt buy powders from the United States, typically product from other suppliers has already been sold, suggesting tightness in the SMP market.
U.S. NDM prices have been increasing throughout 2021, and spot closed at $1.3575 today, the highest price since October 2014. That said, U.S. NDM prices have been at a discount to European and Oceania SMP prices since mid-2020, with the gap growing more prominent since the start of 2021. As Oceania’s season ends, and the U.S. spring flush continues, U.S. product is available and priced to move.