The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • U.S. Dairy Exports Led by Ingredient Sales to Asia

    By Alan Levitt December 7, 2016

    SMP exports to Southeast Asia and whey exports to China continue to grow.  

    Improved sales of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) to Southeast Asia and whey to China, plus a recovery in world commodity prices, led U.S exports to their highest value in 16 months. Overall export value was $426 million in October, up 5 percent from the depressed levels of a year ago. U.S. dairy exporters shipped 172,245 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in October, topping year-ago levels for the fifth straight month.

    Whey exports continued their resurgence, led by heavy buying from China and Southeast Asia. In the August-October period, U.S. exports of whey products to China were up 63 percent, year-over-year, and sweet whey shipments alone were up 257 percent. Whey exports to Southeast Asia were up 68 percent in September-October.

    Exports of whey protein concentrate continued at a record pace in October; in the first 10 months of the year exports were up 19 percent from 2015 levels. In the June-October period, exports of WPC to China were up 26 percent.

    Meanwhile, milk powder exports in October were 59,208 tons, up 13 percent from last year. Sales to Southeast Asia were nearly double year-ago levels, paced by record sales of skim milk powder (11,160 tons) to the Philippines. Exports of SMP to Pakistan also were higher, but shipments to Mexico lagged for the second straight month.

    October numbers also were supported by increased cheese sales to South Korea and record butter exports to Canada. Cheese shipments to South Korea were up 43 percent in October, Mexico was up slightly, but Japan and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region were off from prior-year levels. U.S. butterfat exports were 2,833 tons, more than triple year-ago volume. More than 80 percent of October shipments went to Canada, previously a relatively minor customer.

    Chart for Dec. 6.png

    Click here to see USDEC’s monthly trade data summary, which has additional analysis of export trade trends.

    To use interactive charts with current and historical trade data, see's page on U.S. export data.

    Alan Levitt is vice president of communications and market analysis at the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.  

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