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5 compelling economic facts about U.S. dairy exports to Mexico

By Mark O'Keefe
As DMI board members conduct a week-long governance mission in Mexico, USDEC highlights noteworthy data points about our No. 1  export market. 
Did you know that Mexico is the U.S. dairy industry's No. 1 export market, accounting for one-quarter of all U.S. dairy exports?
Or that nearly 90% of Mexico's dairy imports come from the United States?
Those are just a few of many facts showing the mutually beneficial economic impact of U.S. dairy exports to Mexico, our reliable trading partner to the south. 
Those sales create demand for the abundant milk U.S. dairy farmers produce and nutritious dairy products Mexicans increasingly consume.
Even if you don't milk cows or refuse cheese on your tacos, this is good news because dairy trade to Mexico is a huge driver of the 3 million U.S. jobs the dairy industry supports, many in rural communities.
Five U.S. dairy farmers arrived in Torreón, Mexico today (October 20) for a week-long governance mission sponsored by the U.S. Dairy Export Council. The trip gives Dairy Management Inc. board members overseeing USDEC an opportunity to examine the dairy checkoff program’s ongoing investment in Mexico.
With DMI board members on Mexican soil and Congress considering approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), it's a good time to highlight five compelling economic facts about U.S. dairy trade to Mexico:
1. Mexico is by far the No. 1 market for U.S. dairy exports.
No one else comes close. Other top markets, in order, are Southeast Asia, Canada, China and South Korea.
2. The $1.4 billion exported to Mexico last year accounted for one-fourth of all U.S. dairy exports. 
3. Annual U.S. dairy export volume to Mexico has increased nine straight years and grew 58% over the last five years.
Through the first eight months of 2019, U.S. dairy export value (including cheese, skim milk powder and other products sold to Mexico) was $973 million, 8% greater than January-August 2018. 
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