IDFA Market Update: U.S. Dairy Exports Set a New Record in 2012
Recently released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that dairy product exports reached record highs last year. For the first time ever, the total value of U.S. dairy product exports reached $5.21 billion. This was the first time dairy exports topped the $5 billion mark, which was 8 percent above the previous record set in 2011.
Leading the charge in higher export value were lactose products, which increased $192.3 million (up 50 percent) in 2012. Exports of cheese and curd products increased by $152.5 million, 15.9 percent above 2011.
Other product categories seeing large increases in export value were:
- Whey and whey products, up $82.0 million or 11.5 percent;
- Ice cream and related frozen dairy desserts, up $35.6 million or 39.6 percent; and
- Yogurt and other fermented dairy products, up $32.6 million or 28.7 percent.
In terms of volume of product, total U.S. exports of dairy products were over 4 billion pounds, 4.3 percent above the record level of exports set in 2011, representing the third straight year of record dairy export volumes. The largest export volume increases were from the cheese industry, with U.S. cheese and curd exports reaching 573.3 million pounds, 15.8 percent higher than 2011, and exports of dry whey and dry whey products, which were up 5.5 percent to 1,076.1 million pounds. (Exports of liquid whey products represent a much smaller export volume, but they increased by a whopping 314.4 percent in 2012.)
Other product categories with significant increases in export volumes included:
- Ice cream and related frozen dairy desserts, up 21.9 million pounds or 26.9 percent; and
- Nonfat dry milk and skim milk powders, up 21.3 million pounds or 2.2 percent.