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May Dairy Exports Hit 2-Year High

July 6, 2020

Jim Dickrell

Dairy exports in May hit a 2-year high in terms of volume, with record sales of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP), and steady to strong shipments of cheese, lactose and whey products.

The volume of these products totaled 210,429 tons, up 18 percent from a year ago, and was the highest level since April 2018.

The value of all dairy exports in May was $585.2 million, up 8 percent from last year. In the first five months of 2020, export value is up 12 percent over the same period a year ago while volume is up 10 percent.

“The strong performance was greater than expectations in light of global lockdowns and supply disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” say marketing experts with the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

USDEC says NDM/SMPsales to Southeast Asia have nearly doubled and that the region now accounts for nearly half of all NDM/SMP exports. Milk powder exports to Mexico, however, are down 28 percent in volume from last May.

Cheese exports were up 7 percent, making May 2020 the second-best month ever. Cheese shipments to Japan were up more than 45 percent and to South Korea cheese exports were up more than 40 percent. Cheese sales to Australia and China also doubled, but were down in the Middle East, Mexico and Central America.

On a total milk solids basis, U.S. exports were the equivalent of 17.4 percent of U.S. milk production in May. For the first 5 months of the year, that figure now stands at 15.5 percent.


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