US Dairy Exports Equal 17.3 Percent of US Production

U.S. dairy exports set a new record high in March on a total volume basis surpassing the previous record high set in March 2014. Exports of whey protein concentrate and lactose each hit all- time highs. On a total milk solids basis, exports were equivalent to 17.3 percent of U.S. milk production.

Suppliers shipped 204,453 tons of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose during the month, up 26 percent from March 2017. U.S. exports were valued at $510 million, 8 percent greater than in March 2017 and the highest total value since April 2015.

Ingredient sales drove much of the gains. Shipments of nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) to Southeast Asia were nearly double the prior-year level and sales to Mexico were the second-most ever. Shipments of lactose to China increased by 57 percent during the month and were at a record high.

Overall NDM/SMP exports were 67,154 tons, up 38 percent from last year. Sales to Mexico increased 43 percent from the previous year. 

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