US exports were just 14.1% of milk production in December, reflecting much weaker milk powder shipments – at a 10-month low – in addition to reduced overseas cheese sales. Despite these negative trends, 2020 was still a record-high in MSE volumes terms, with 2.1mmt shipped according to USDEC. At US$6.6bn 2020 annual export value was the highest since 2016.
December NFDM/SMP exports declined 15% YOY, with many in the industry pointing to ongoing logistical west coast port issues. The fall in NFDM/SMP shipments during December was despite a 4% YOY increase in shipments to Mexico where demand is reviving as of late. NFDM/SMP exports rose 16% to 812,683t in 2020. Cheese exports fell 1% YOY in December, with lower shipments to Mexico more than offsetting increased exports to Japan, Canada and South Korea.
Annual cheese exports were flat at 356,185t in 2020. Whey product exports were up 24% in 2020, reflecting heavy Chinese purchasing to support efforts to rebuild a pig herd decimated by African Swine Fever. In the 12-month period, increases in shipments of dry whey and WPC80+ were also at 24% each to 497,011t and 57,968t respectively.