Though the final numbers won’t be available until February, the U.S. Dairy Export Council reports that the United States set a dairy export record for 2013 in the first 11 months alone.
The U.S. shipped $6.1 billion worth of dairy products, 17 percent more than 2012. Next month, when the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service releases its year-end data, this figure will likely climb to $6.7 billion.
“The past year marked a major step in U.S. dairy export expansion, not only because of the value and volume gains, but because of the activities of U.S. suppliers and industry organizations to lay the groundwork for future growth,” says USDEC President Tom Suber.
“Even with December data yet to be tallied, we expect volume records in nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder (NDM/SMP), cheese, high-value whey protein concentrates and isolates, lactose and fluid milk,” he said. “But the real highlights of the year lie beyond the numbers. More than in previous years, we are seeing a broad acknowledgement of the critical role exports play in the health and growth of the U.S. dairy industry — an acknowledgment that is spurring action that will continue the trend.”
The report shows that the record-setting year was helped by many factors, including favorable market conditions for U.S. exports. For half of 2013, the U.S. was the world’s only major exports to increase milk production while global demand remained strong.
“The events and achievements of 2013 clearly indicate the elevated position overseas markets now hold in the strategic business plans of an increasing number of players in the U.S. industry. More than in previous years, we are seeing a broad acknowledgement of the critical role exports play in the health and growth of the U.S. dairy industry—an acknowledgment that is spurring action that will continue the trend,” the report said.