Milk powder, butter, and cheese (our largest export commodity group) rose $342 million (42 percent) in May 2017. This is the eighth-consecutive monthly rise when compared with the same month the previous year, and the third in a row with a rise over $200 million.

The value trend, which removes seasonal effects and irregular movements, increased 33 percent from the most-recent low point in May 2016. This compares with the quantity trend, which is only 7.4 percent higher over the same period. This implies higher prices are the main contributor to the value increase.

Despite the slow start to the 2016/17 year (July to June), the dairy values to May 2017 are now nearly 10 percent ahead of those at the same time last year. They have now surpassed the 2014/15 season values. However, the 2016/17 values remain well below those of the 2013/14 season, which featured high prices.

Milk powder value up 53 percent
The rise in the milk powder, butter, and cheese commodity group was led by a $218 million (53 percent) rise in the value of milk powder. This follows a $115 million rise in April 2017. The increase continues to be price driven, as the quantity exported rose only 12 percent in May 2017.

The top destinations for milk powder in May 2017 were:

China, $190 million (up $86 million)
Algeria, $86 million (up $42 million)
Malaysia, $36 million (up $20 million)
Bangladesh, $27 million (up $5 million)
Singapore, $27 million (up $20 million).
China ($2.0 billion) and Algeria ($690 million) were also the top two destinations for milk powder exports for the year ended May 2017. United Arab Emirates ($390 million) was third for the year, followed by Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

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