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U.S. dairy exports fall 7% in 2023

Subdued demand, coupled with increased competition from the EU and New Zealand, translated into a U.S. dairy export decline of 7% in milk solids equivalent terms (MSE) in 2023. The factors complicating U.S. dairy export growth have been consistent most of the year: elevated inflation, disappointing economic growth in key export markets (particularly China), reduced demand for feed whey from China’s struggling pig sector, increased milk output from the EU and New Zealand, and reduced whole milk powder (WMP) purchasing from China causing New Zealand to shift its product mix and redirect exports to key U.S. markets.


U.S. export value finished the year at $8.11 billion. That is the second largest value of all time but down 16% from the record year of 2022 as both volume and prices eased.


U.S. suppliers posted volume gains in only two major product categories in 2023: high-protein whey (WPC80+) and lactose. Full-year U.S. WPC80+ export volume jumped 18% (+11,619 MT) compared to 2022, rising to a record 75,848 MT. Fueled by strong gains in the first quarter, lactose shipments rose 5% (+20,890 MT) to a record 471,918 MT.




Feb 13, 2024

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