U.S. Export Volumes Slip in September

A report from the US Dairy Export Council shows that milk output has dropped this autumn after a summer of drought across much of the US and increasing rates of cow liquidation.
calendar icon 4 December 2012
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US Dairy Export Council

Overall U.S. dairy exports were lower in September (vs. August) – down by about 5% by volume and value. NDM/SMP shipments were lighter (33,627 mt, -18% vs. August) and cheese, butterfat and dry whey fell for the fourth straight month since peaking in May. WPC exports were down slightly from August's record pace, but remain well above a year ago. Lactose shipments continue to track year-ago levels.

US Exports as % of Production

Total dairy export value in September was $400.5 million, down 4% from a year ago. Year-to-date value is $3,974.7 million, up 12% from last year.

For NDM/SMP, exports in the third quarter were down 3% from last year. Nearly half the volume went to Mexico, while the Philippines took 10,546 mt and Algeria took 7,732 mt.

Cheese, dry whey and butterfat volumes continue to trend lower. Cheese volume was the lowest since last October, while dry whey and butterfat were the lowest in more than three years (daily-average basis). Meanwhile, WPC exports remain robust; export volumes have doubled in the last three years, driven by tremendous growth from China and Southeast Asia.

US Exports and Imports as % of Production

In September exports were equivalent to 13.1% of U.S. milk solids production, bringing the year-to-date percentage to 13.6%. Exports were equivalent to 13.3% of U.S. milk solids production in 2011 and 12.8% in 2010. Meanwhile, imports as a percent of milk solids production were just 3.0% in September 2012.

NDM/SMP, Cheese & Butterfat


US NDM/SMP Exports - Rolling Quaters (MT)

U.S. exports in the most recent three months were 107,995 tons, down 4.8% vs. last month and down 3.3% vs. last year. Year-to-date, sales to Mexico were up 18% from the prior year while exports to Southeast Asia were off 32%. Shipments to the Middle East/North Africa more than doubled.

US NDM/SMP Customers (MT)


US Cheese Exports - Rolling Quaters (MT)

U.S. exports in the third quarter were 60,814 tons, down 7.8% vs. last month but still up 27.6% vs. last year. Year-to-date, shipments to Mexico were up 39% vs. prior year, while Japan (+30%) and Saudi Arabia (+34%) also posted strong gains.

US Cheese Customers (MT)


US Butterfat Exports - Rolling Quaters (MT)

U.S. exports in the most recent three months were just 7,460 tons, down 20.8% vs. last month and down 42.2% vs. last year. This year more than three-quarters of the volume went to the Middle East/North Africa region (primarily Saudi Arabia), while sales to Mexico and Canada have dropped off.

US Butterfat Customers

Whey Products

U.S. exports of whey products in the most recent three months were 124,178 tons, down 3.7% vs. last month but still up 8.6% vs. last year. China remains the major customer for U.S. whey products, with 2012 purchases up 10.9% vs. the prior year. WPC exports are up 33.7% year-to-date.

Other Products

Lactose exports are steady. In the third quarter lactose export volume was 76,314 tons, down 1.0% from the prior month and down 4.2% from last year. Shipments of food preps are running higher this year (12% year to date). Meanwhile, exports of fluid milk/cream are down 31% in 2012.

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

December 2012

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