U.S. Dairy Product Trade
The following presents a brief discussion of total U.S. dairy product imports and exports. The reader should be aware that a standard definition of total dairy trade is non-existent with the result that other analysts may use different definitions and come up with different totals.
Bureau of the Census export data for the first 9 months of 2002 show that the pace of U.S. dairy product exports is running well behind that of 2001. For January–September of 2002, the total value of dairy exports was $674 million compared to $776 million in the same period of 2001. Nonfat dry milk, which depends on export aid from the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) accounts for most of the shortfall. Dairy based food preparations and casein, a re-export commodity, were the other two significant items where exports are down from 2001.
On the positive side, cheese exports are up approximately 3 percent on both a quantity and value basis. Exports in the whey complex were up on a quantity basis due both to increased exports of whey protein concentrate (WPC) and dry whey. The value of WPC exports was also up. On a quantity basis, most other export categories such as fluid milk, ice cream, yogurt, lactose, and infant formula, are not greatly changed from the same period of 2001. Ice cream and infant formula were down on a value basis.
On a regional basis, the value of shipments to Canada is running ahead of last year and, at least temporarily, has put that country in the top spot as a destination of U.S. dairy exports. The value of exports to Mexico, normally the leading destination for U.S. dairy exports, is down somewhat this year, probably due to the reduced activity under DEIP. Exports to Japan, the largest Asian markets for the U.S., are largely unchanged from the export pace of 2001.
Data on dairy imports, also from the Bureau of the Census, show the pace of imports during the first 9 months of 2002 running equal to that of 2001 -- $1189 million this year compared with $1188 million last year.
For cheese, the major product imported, both volume and value are running above last year. The largest increase in value, up $14 million, is for the basket category ‘other cheese and cheese substitutes.” The largest increase in volume was for American Type cheese, up 9,000 tons.
The value of casein, the second leading import item, was down $60 million (16 percent) even though the quantity imported was down only 6 percent. The quantity of imports of milk protein concentrate during the January-September period was up 24 percent compared to last year’s sharply reduced imports.