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U.S. Dairy Exports Shatter Records


The United States exported more than 6.2 billion pounds of dairy products in 2022, besting 2021’s record high by 5.6% and adding immense value to the U.S. dairy industry. The United States sold more than $9.5 billion in dairy products to foreign buyers, an astounding 25% increase from the previous record, also set in 2021.


U.S. cheese exports got off to a strong start last year, with January shipments posting the second-highest tally ever for the month. From February onward, U.S. cheese exports established their highest-ever totals month after month. Last December, cheese and curd exports reached 78.9 million pounds, up 15.3% from December 2021. Mexico, the United States’ top foreign market, stepped up cheese purchases late last year, putting cheese exports to the country at an all-time annual high. U.S. cheese exports to South Korea and Japan, ranked second and third, respectively, also posted annual records. But cheese sales have slowed in 2023, as EU exporters vie to recoup market share.


U.S. whey product exports also set a new annual high last year, up 10% from 2021. December exports of dry whey at 38 million pounds climbed 17.9% above a year earlier. December shipments of whey protein concentrates jumped 46.3%. Last month, slower sales pushed whey values to multiyear lows, but bargain pricing has started to attract buyers from Southeast Asia.


Prices moved mostly higher at today’s Global Dairy Trade auction. However, the gains lagged recent rallies in global milk powder futures, so today’s results pressured U.S. nonfat dry milk and Class IV futures lower.


Feb. 7, 2023

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