in March 2022, US dairy exports almost reached the record high in volume seen during the same period last year, at 211,550 tonnes in March 2022, down by 1% year-on-year (y-o-y), equating to a drop of 2,005 tonnes.
In value terms, US dairy exports recorded USD 1.03 billion in March 2022, up by 25% y-o-y, fuelled by elevated international commodity prices and strong sales of higher-value dairy products, including cheese. The strong performance of US cheese exports (+13% y-o-y, +4,773 tonnes), particularly cheddar (+86% y-o-y, +3,596 tonnes), highlights the US competitive prices in the global markets.
The growth in US dairy exports to Mexico continued in March, with cheese dairy exports +26% y-o-y, skimmed milk powder +9% y-o-y, whey +4% y-o-y and butter +947% y-o-y. Due to Mexico’s tight milk supplies, its dairy imports from the US are expected to continue rising, whereas sales to the other main market for US dairy exports, China, declined in March 2022. The most notable decrease was for SMP (-24% y-o-y) and whey (-10% y-o-y) products. Lockdowns in parts of China have hindered demand and disrupted dairy imports in the market. Also, Chinese hog growers have been making financial losses for months and are unwilling to spend on whey for their rations.