A surge in nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP) exports to Mexico and Southeast Asia, plus increased cheese shipments to Mexico and United Arab Emirates (UAE) propelled total U.S. dairy exports above year-ago levels for the first time since October 2018.
U.S. suppliers shipped 170,731 tons of milk powders, cheese, whey products, lactose and butterfat in September, up 2% from last year. The value of all exports was $508.8 million, up 17% and the most since May.
Exports of NDM/SMP were 65,328 tons in September, a 16-month high. This figure was up 25% from a year ago. With EU intervention stocks mostly moved through the supply chain, buyers increasingly turned to the United States for powder. Exports to Southeast Asia (primarily Indonesia and Vietnam) were up 36% during the month, while sales to Mexico were up 14%. Shipments to Peru and Pakistan also were higher.
Cheese exports also rebounded in September, despite U.S. benchmark prices that sat well-above world indicators. Volume totaled 27,433 tons, 12% higher than the prior year. Gains were led by a 31% increase in shipments to Mexico. In addition, volume to UAE nearly tripled and sales to South Korea were up 9%.
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