• Year-end Exports and the Broader Outlook

    By USDEC Staff February 11, 2016

    Outlook.jpg2015 was a challenging year for both global dairy markets and U.S. dairy exports. Over the medium-term horizon, however, USDEC analysts project that rising global dairy demand will pressure available milk supplies, accelerating export growth momentum for U.S. dairy suppliers through 2020 and beyond.

    This positive assessment is based on an internal USDEC analysis which reviewed fundamental supply and demand drivers for dairy trade through the end of the decade. The analysis projects that while the pace of growth will be slower than the previous decade, the outlook for ever-increasing dairy demand and trade remain positive through 2020, reflecting dairy’s importance to consumers on a global scale.

    USDEC analysts estimate that total global dairy trade will grow about 3.7 percent annually from 9.4 million metric tons (MT) in 2014 to around 11.7 million MT in 2020 on a liquid milk equivalent (LME) basis, compared with 6.7 percent annual growth from 2007-2013. The analysts further conclude that the United States remains well-positioned to capitalize on this growth in global demand, with key product sectors such as cheese, whey and skim milk powder especially strong areas to be fulfilled by U.S. dairy suppliers.

    Economic and population dynamics in developing countries will be key growth engines driving this demand expansion. Notably, the size of the ‘global middle class’ is expected to increase from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 3.2 billion by 2020 according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The amount of dairy products consumed is anticipated to increase along with this population growth and accompanying lifestyle shifts, ultimately spurring positive demand growth for U.S. cheese and other dairy products in food service as well as food and beverage manufacturing.

    In terms of 2015 actual year-end results, U.S. dairy export sales exceeded 1.65 million metric tons of milk solids (total-solids basis), down 8 percent from the 2014 all-time record of 1.80 million metric tons. This was the first dip after five consecutive years of record growth, but still ranked as the third highest export volume for U.S. dairy exports historically.  While key products such as cheese and whey shifted into a lower gear in 2015, total exports of nonfat dry milk/skim milk power attained a new record of 560,000 metric tons in 2015, up 3% from 2014.

    Mexico remained the largest market for U.S. dairy exports in 2015 with sales of $1.28 billion. Other top markets were Southeast Asia ($853 million), Canada ($554 million), China ($450 million), South Korea ($306 million), South America ($281 million), Japan ($272 million) and the Middle East/North Africa region ($265 million).

    For more information about the U.S. dairy industry, visit our website’s U.S. Dairy Advantages section and search for a wide-variety of products in the Supplier Directory.

    Market Insights Cheese Nonfat Dry Milk/Skim Milk Powder Global Supply Export Data Global Global Dairy Market Whey Protein Global Demand Dairy Trade Dairy Production
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