Australian exports were a mixed bag in February. Australian cheese exports were 2% higher YOY, leaving season-to-date exports 6% up on the prior year. Strong growth in milk powder trade remained a feature. SMP exports were up 9% in February to post the second highest monthly tonnage in the past five years, taking season-to-date trade 20% higher, while WMP exports were 19% higher YOY (season to date 30% stronger). The largest growth in SMP trade in the month came from Sth East Asia, while YOY shipments to China slowed but were up by more than a quarter season-to-date. Butterfat trade remained weaker with the increasing domestic deficit, down 13% YOY in February and for season-to-date, with butter exports 20% lower in the month.
Milk and cream shipments to China continued a strong surge – pushing shipments up 88% YOY in February, to be close to 60% higher for the eight months of the season-to-date.
Australia’s imports of cheese were flat against the prior year in the year to February but continued to slow in recent months compared to a year earlier, down 11% in the month. Butter imports are worsening with the strong lift in prices, down 47% YOY in the month and 30% in the 3 months to February.