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Dairy export volume rises 9% in JanuaryDairy export volume rises 9% in January

Exports of cheese and whey products particularly strong.

Krissa Welshans 1

March 9, 2018

2 Min Read
bring imports exports port container ship FDS

U.S. dairy exporters picked up in 2018 where they left off at the end of 2017, topping the prior-year export level for the third straight month, according to Alan Levitt, vice president of communications and market analysis at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Monthly results showed that suppliers shipped 160,746 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose during the month, a 9% increase from last January. U.S. exports value rose 1% to $415 million.

According to Levitt, exports of cheese and whey products were particularly strong.

Cheese exports were 26,946 tons in January, up 19% from a year earlier. One-third of the U.S. shipments went to Mexico, where exports were 62% higher during the month, Levitt noted. Sales to Japan (up 40%), South Korea (up 13%) and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region (up 31%) also were higher.

Total whey exports were 48,656 tons in January, up 18% from the same period in 2017 and led by a 30% increase in shipments of dry whey. Total whey exports to China were 8% higher in January, while shipments to Southeast Asia rose by one-third. Sales to Japan more than doubled, Levitt added.

In addition to the large gain in dry whey exports, shipments of whey protein concentrate rose 16% year over year, and exports of whey protein isolate rose 11%. In both whey protein concentrate and isolate exports, Levitt said gains were led by China.

Exports of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder in January rose 3% to 49,614. According to Levitt, more than 40% of those overseas sales went to Mexico, where export volumes were 4% higher than the prior year.

“Sales to Southeast Asia and China were lower, but this was mostly offset by volume gains to Peru, Pakistan and Japan,” Levitt noted.

Lactose exports were 30,739 tons in January, up 7%. Exports to China rose 28%, making it the number-one market for U.S. lactose for the third straight month.

Exports of butterfat were just 1,741 tons in January, down 6%. Levitt said nearly half of the volume went to Canada.

“Shipments of whole milk powder and milk protein concentrate remain negligible,” he noted.

Fluid milk/cream exports were 7% lower in January, with a steep fall-off in sales to Canada, which were down 64%. Meanwhile, shipments to Taiwan were up 56%, Levitt pointed out.

Among top markets, gains were strongest for Japan (up 31% versus a year earlier), the Caribbean (up 29%) and the MENA region (up 20%).

“On a total milk solids basis, U.S. exports were equivalent to 13.9% of U.S. milk production in January, while imports were equivalent to just 3.1%,” Levitt said.

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