Editor’s note: This article has been updated from the original to include marketer comments on dairy heifer and hay exports.
U.S. dairy product exports were strong in April, and foreign sales of alfalfa hay hit a new record high. Following is a summary of export activity in the major categories routinely followed by Progressive Dairy, as well as other trade news updates impacting dairy.
Dairy products: Southeast Asia, China are buying
Record exports of dry ingredients to Southeast Asia, plus rebounding volumes of whey products to China, sent April U.S. dairy exports higher than the year before for the eighth straight month, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).
- Volume basis: In April, U.S. suppliers shipped 181,437 tons of milk powders, cheese, whey products, lactose and butterfat, 7% more than the same month a year earlier. On a product-volume basis, April exports to Southeast Asia were up 35% and shipments to China were up 47%. These gains were noteworthy in light of an 18% drop in sales to Mexico, where a depreciated peso and weaker economy reduced import demand and sent U.S. export volume to the lowest in almost four years.
The rebuilding swine herd in China, plus tariff relief for U.S. exporters on whey permeate, drove a recovery in U.S. whey exports. Meanwhile, U.S. cheese exports slumped in April.
- Value basis: The value of all exports was $521 million, 4% more than in April 2019.
- Total milk solids basis: U.S. exports were equivalent to 15.3% of