Dairy Report: Exports Drop 9%; Possible Bankruptcy Debt Limit Increase

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The volume of dairy exports in January dropped while struggling farmers could get some more relief as Congress has raised debt limits for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. For more on these stories watch the AgDay video above or read the following news brief links.

January Dairy Exports Decline for Third Consecutive Month

For the third consecutive month the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is reporting a drop in dairy export volumes. January dairy exports dropped 9% from the previous year, but in good news values were actually up 4% for exports compared to the same time in 2018.

“U.S. dairy exports continue to struggle in the face of strong competition and retaliatory tariffs in China and Mexico,” says Alan Levitt, USDEC vice president of communications and market analysis. “Overall volume to China was down 41% from a year ago—including a 54% drop in whey shipments—while cheese exports to Mexico were off 20%.”

Congress Considers Increasing Chapter 12 Debt Limit

There is a proposal being deliberated by Congress to raise debt limits for Chapter 12, a bankruptcy code created in 1980s specifically for farmers. Currently, the debt limit is set at $4.153 million.

There was a proposal last December by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) that would have raised the limit to $10 million that failed to pass in the Senate. Klobuchar is planning to reintroduce the bill.