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Dairy exports stronger in November

U.S. exports continued to improve in November, increasing from prior months and topping year-ago levels for the third straight month. U.S. suppliers shipped 179,113 tons of milk powders, cheese, whey products, lactose and butterfat during the month, the most since March, and up 14% from a year ago. On a solids basis, total dairy exports were up 16%. The value of all exports was $536.4 million, up 21% and the most since April 2015 (on a daily-average basis).
Exporters saw gains in nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) and lactose, as well as cheese and whey protein concentrate/isolate. U.S. suppliers posted record shipments of NDM/SMP to Southeast Asia for the second straight month. In addition, the total volume of exports to China were the highest of the year, and down only 10% from the depressed level of 2018.
The value of exports to Southeast Asia was the highest in more than four years -- $96.5 million, up 57%. Suppliers also focused on South America, where exports reached a record high $40.7 million, with more than half going to Colombia. In November, Colombia was the U.S.’ eighth-largest export market.
Exports of NDM/SMP were 67,408 tons in November, up a whopping 41% from a year ago, thanks in part to the clearance of EU intervention stocks several months earlier. U.S. shipments to Southeast Asia were 27,384 tons, more than double year-ago levels. Gains were broad-based, with all countries within the region showing significant increases. In addition, shipments to Colombia increased more than five-fold, sales to China and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region were the highest of 2019, and exports to Bangladesh were the most in nearly nine years.
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