Dairy Skim: November 2022 U.S. Trade Data

Dairy Skim is a new bite-size episode series where HighGround’s Eric Meyer and Cara Murphy break down the latest USDA Dairy data release.


[00:06] Eric: Good afternoon, everyone, it is Thursday, January 5th, 2023 and welcome to the Dairy Skim. This is Eric Meyer, President of HighGround Dairy and with me today is Cara Murphy, HighGround’s Market Intelligence Manager and we will be covering the November 2022 US Dairy import and export data that was released this morning. Happy New Year, Cara! What are some of the highlights of the data USDA just released?

[00:31] Cara: Happy New Year! What a month! November 2022 marked the highest November dairy export volume on record and I can understand why. The largest gains against the prior were seen to Mexico, primarily driven by an increase in nonfat dry milk shipments, UP 11,041MT. After that, exports to China recorded the second biggest increase over the prior year due to higher volumes of dry whey, UP 3,932MT and whey protein concentrate less than 80%, UP 3,379MT.

[01:04] One thing that really stood out to me, though, was butter exports. Incredibly impressive growth here, reaching fresh highs in November not observed since March 2014. It appears that growth was primarily supported by increased shipments to Canada, which reached an all-time high of 5,023MT, UP 3,657MT from the prior year! But, there was also firm demand from Bahrain and South Korea as well, although to a lesser extent.

[01:32] Finally, before we get to imports, I think it’s worth taking a look at cheese exports. While not as remarkable as butter, cheddar cheese exports were UP 50% over November 2021 and they have held above prior-year levels for 17 consecutive months. There was quite a bit of demand for cheddar from Australia, UP 1,375MT or +175% versus the previous year as well as from Japan, UP 127%, and Canada, UP 181%.

[02:00] Now, taking a look at imports. You know, I think the standout here is milk protein concentrate >40% and 90%. MPC >40% imports have really been lackluster since September, falling below the 2021, and trending almost even with volumes seen in 2020. In fact, in November, imports declined by 55% compared to last year with a major drop from New Zealand, DOWN 2,272MT or -57%.

[02:29] This is in stark contrast to MPC 90% imports, which marked a new record high in November at an astounding 5,344MT, 340% above the same time last year. This big jump was really only driven by an increase in shipments from Ireland, though, UP 4,488MT or 534% from 2021. As all other origination countries, most notably New Zealand, Germany, and Argentina recorded negative shipments during the month compared to the prior year.

[03:02] Eric: There’s always a lot going on in these reports. Cara, thank you so much for that update. So, be sure to check out our full report coverage with charts and data and tables, which will be released to our website for our subscribers no later than tomorrow, and I know that many of you who receive our emails know that we launched our new website, so be sure to check that out! We’ll do another Dairy Skim this week after the release of the November 2022 US Dairy Products Production and Dry Stocks report that will be out tomorrow, or Friday, afternoon. Thanks so much, everyone!