• Half-year Data Shows Strong U.S. Dairy Export Momentum in 2021

    By USDEC Staff August 11, 2021
    trade-dataFood and beverage manufacturers are continuing to tap into the nutrition and innovation advantages of U.S. Dairy, building on gains from 2020. Halfway through the year, U.S. dairy shipments are on a record pace, with increases across most major product categories propelling overseas shipment to new heights. In the first six months of the year through June, U.S. dairy exports are up 13% both in volume and value terms compared to 2020, buoyed by strong global demand for U.S. dairy products, especially U.S. dairy ingredients.

    Through June, nearly 1.2 million MT of milk solids were exported from the United States, a 133,736 MT increase over the prior year. Export volume halfway through the year is equivalent to 17.5% of U.S. milk produced over the same period, signaling that a rising share of the U.S. milk supply is destined for customers and consumers outside U.S. borders. U.S. export value through six months was U.S. $3.809 billion, only 4% behind the record pace of January-June 2014.

    Here’s a snapshot of export performance by product midway through 2021.

    • Whey Ingredients: Exports of U.S. whey ingredients reached 318,607 MT in the first six months of the year, jumping 24% over the prior year. This reflects a gain of 61,018 MT compared to the previous year, with soaring shipments to China and protein interest for health and wellness primarily fueling this growth.

    • Skim Milk Powder: The first-half skim milk powder/nonfat dry milk export gain was almost identical to the whey increase: +61,021 MT. This is a 15% increase over the first half of 2020, with total export shipments through June reaching 469,644 MT.

    • Lactose: Year-to-date through June, the export volume of U.S. lactose reached 197,922 MT, down slightly by 1% compared to the same six-month period in 2020.

    • Cheese: Year-to-date through June, U.S. cheese volume is up 2% compared to the previous year, reaching 197,036 MT – a gain of 4,498 metric tons.

    What’s in Store for the Remainder of 2021?

    This positive growth momentum in the first half of 2021 comes despite ongoing port congestion and ocean shipping issues that have hampered global trade overall for dairy and non-dairy products alike during the pandemic. While logistical headwinds are anticipated to remain a challenge to international trade for the remainder of the year, it is expected that some of the delayed product shipments will begin catching up in upcoming months. There is still plenty of additional product that has been booked for export but has not yet left U.S. shores.

    Additionally, the degree to which COVID-related uncertainty could impact the product needs of food and beverage manufacturers and global foodservice networks remains difficult to predict, given the pandemic’s constantly-evolving nature. However, consumer demand for dairy shows no signs of slowing down, both for health and wellness and indulgence.

    The U.S. milk production outlook for the back half of the year continues to look robust. With leadership in sustainable practices that continue to drive efficiency, U.S. dairy supply is anticipated to remain plentiful to fulfill this growing global customer product demand and innovation needs through the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.

    Visit ThinkUSAdairy.org  and follow our LinkedIn business page for further information of U.S. dairy ingredients and inspiration for innovation. 

    Dairy Ingredients Lactose Skimmed Milk Powder Whey Cheese Exports Nutrition U.S. Dairy Industry U.S. Dairy Industry Growth Volume Record Value
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