Despite a downturn in the second half of the year, 2014 U.S. dairy products were a record-high $7.20 billion, according to final calendar year totals from USDA’s Economic Research Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce. 2014 exports were up 6% from the 2013 total of $6.80 billion, the previous record high.

Continuing to trend lower, the value of December U.S. dairy product exports was estimated at $485 million, the lowest monthly total since February 2013. During that past two calendar years, monthly exports had topped $500 million in 19 months.

December exports were down 4% from November, and about 21% less than December 2013.

At $338 million, the value of December 2014 imports was up 8% from November.  Calendar year 2014 imports totaled $3.52 billion, up about 10% from the 2013 total of $3.19 billion.

For the second year in a row, the value of dairy product exports more than doubled the value of dairy imports. The 2014 dairy trade surplus (exports minus imports) was $3.68 billion, up from $3.61 billion in 2013.

At $131 million, December 2014 cheese imports were down 1% from November. Total 2014 cheese imports were estimated at$1.27 billion, up 11% from a year earlier.

Read also: Second-half slump tempers 2014 dairy export records