Exports of Dairy Products from the United States
Bureau of the Census data for the first 9 months of 1998 show that the pace of U.S. dairy product exports is running slightly below that of 1997. For January-September 1998, the total value of dairy exports is $661 million compared to $669 million in the same period of 1997. On a product basis, most of the decline is due to fluctuations within the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP).
Butter, anhydrous milkfat, and whole milk powder (WMP) were strongly boosted by DEIP in 1997 but much less so in 1998 with the result exports of these three products are running well below the 1997 pace. In contrast, exports of nonfat dry milk (NDM) are up to the faster pace of DEIP awards.
Outside DEIP, exports of fresh milk and cream are down due to changes in Mexico, the principal market. Cheese exports are essentially unchanged despite slower economic growth in many Asian markets. However, those same countries are taking less dry whey. After last years big decline, condensed and evaporated milk are making a modest recovery.
Exports of ice cream and yoghurt are little changed from last years pace. Dairy based food products, other dairy products continue to show rapid growth on a value basis.
On a regional basis, Mexico, with significant imports of both DEIP and non-DEIP commodities, is the leading destination for U.S. dairy products with a 9-month value of $118 million, 8 percent below last years comparable total.
Exports to Japan, the number 2 market, are down a modest 2 percent due largely to reduced shipments of whey products. High domestic prices made U.S. whey products less competitive early in 1998.
U.S. dairy exports to Canada, the third most important destination, are significantly above 1997 due to the higher valued dairy foods.
Nine-month export statistics also indicate strong growth in products headed for the Caribbean, Central America, and South America largely due to DEIP aided commodities.
Aside from Japan, U.S. dairy product exports to most other Asian countries are significantly below the pace for the first 9 months of 1997.