Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), issued the following statement on October 6 regarding the August 2020 agricultural export data released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Trade System: 

“U.S. dairy exports are posting positive gains in value and volume to markets around the world and are keeping pace with other animal product exports. U.S. dairy exports are up in eight of our top 10 export markets by both value and volume over the same period in 2019. In August, U.S. dairy exports resumed their strong pace from earlier this year, increasing 14% by value since January over the same period last year. This sustained growth puts U.S. dairy exports this year more than $600 million ahead of the same period last year, with primary gains by value appearing in China, Canada, Vietnam, and Australia.

“Meanwhile, volume is 12% higher over the same period last year, with four of the top five markets showing growth over 2019, led by increased sales to China, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 

“IDFA and its members continue to see the value of new trade agreements. In markets where an agreement was recently completed, U.S. dairy exports have generally increased over the same period in 2019. For instance, exports of milk powder, whey and natural milk proteins to China have all increased in August, pointing to accelerating purchases of U.S. agricultural goods by China under the Phase One trade agreement. Overall, U.S. dairy exports to China by volume have already exceeded the entirety of our dairy exports to China in 2019, while the value of U.S. dairy exports to China should soon surpass 2019 levels.

“Similar to the growth we saw earlier in the summer, we also continue to see sustained expansion of U.S. dairy exports to Southeast Asia. While milk powders, lactose, and whey maintain their strong presence, cheeses are showing marked growth to Southeast Asia in the August data, in some cases growing twice as much or more as previous months.  

“Year to date, we are on track to break $6 billion in U.S. dairy exports this year. Volatility and uncertainty remain a factor in the dairy market and trade, but IDFA remains optimistic that with continued demand for dairy around the world, especially in Southeast Asia and China, this year will end on a high note. It’s an exciting time to be part of the U.S. dairy industry, and IDFA and its members are ready to take advantage of these global opportunities.”