U.S. agricultural exports, including dairy, set a record for both value and volume in 2022. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. dairy exports to the world totaled $9.5 billion last year, topping the 2021 dairy export value record by 25% and representing an 85% increase in just the past 10 years.

Moreover, U.S. dairy exports logged 2.82 million metric tons of volume in 2022, another record and a 52% increase over the past 10 years. 

“Today’s export figures represent the pace at which the U.S. dairy industry is innovating and capitalizing on opportunities to sell U.S.-made dairy products overseas. Consumers in the United States and around the world continue to demand more U.S. dairy because we provide an assortment of delicious, nutritious, affordable, and sustainable dairy products. From high-value whey to award-winning cheeses, from milk powders used to make life-saving products for children and adults to safe and nutritious, shelf-stable milk, U.S. dairy is known throughout the world for quality and reliability. We are poised to become the world’s leading supplier of dairy products thanks to the resilience and innovation of American dairy exporters and dairy foods companies," said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

“As we dig into the export data released today, we see that U.S. dairy exports hit a record $9.51 billion in 2022, outperforming the previous record of $7.61 billion achieved in 2021. While inflation played a role in export values, total dairy export volume also set a new high, reaching 2.82 million metric tons to outpace the previous record of 2.67 million metric tons set in 2021. Export volumes to our top four dairy markets abroad—Mexico, Canada, China and Philippines—all hit record volumes. The totals are striking because the market for U.S. dairy products was almost entirely domestic just three decades ago. The U.S. dairy industry now exports approximately 18% of all milk production," Dykes added.

Added Jim Mulhern, CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation: "For the third consecutive year, U.S. dairy farmers have proven how their dedication to innovation and sustainability leadership increasingly have made them the world’s provider of choice for nutritious dairy products. In both value and in volume, U.S. sales are at all-time highs, and in 2022, a record percentage of U.S. milk production was exported overseas. This happened despite the headwinds our exporters battled last year, which included supply chain challenges, a lack of new trade agreements to establish more level playing fields abroad, and other barriers to trade that threatened to upend progress. 

“Let this be a signal to the world: U.S. dairy farmers are, and will be, a growing force for global nutrition, sustainability and health, as shown by the increasing preference of consumers worldwide for the products they create. We’re excited to see today’s year-end export totals reflect a vision we’ve been pursuing for decades, and we look forward to seeing further progress in the years to come.”