US milk exports to Asian countries rise

Publish time: 11th March, 2014      Source:
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March 11, 2014



US milk exports to Asian countries rise




US retail milk prices rose 1.5% in January from a year ago, with forecasts for price hikes of 3.5% this year brought about by strong global demand particularly from Asian countries.



Traditionally the US has competed with milk exporter New Zealand as a major player in the global milk trade. But drought in New Zealand has curbed that budding market this year, so US milk exports to Asian countries have risen.



"What we''ve seen in futures over the last two months in the sharpest upward move I''ve ever seen," said analyst Eric Meyer of brokerage High Ground Trading, to the Journal. He has followed milk futures since 2001.



US dairy exports grew 19% in volume in January from a year ago, according to the US Dairy Export Council. January exports alone were worth US$584 million, after a record 2013 for exports.



US market share among global exporters also grew in 2013, moving up 3%. US exports have expanded annually and consistently over the past decade, and now the US ships 16% of its milk production overseas, up from 6% a decade ago.



Even after a 2008 milk powder scandal that sickened 300,000 people, China has been a key buyer of milk powder supplies.



Dairy farmers in the US have benefited from the boom. They received US$0.25 per pound on average for milk in February, up 27% from a year ago, USDA data show.



New Zealand remains the world''s biggest milk exporter. Earlier this year, US regulatory body the Commodity Futures Trading Commission allowed US investors to buy New Zealand milk products on the NZX Dairy Futures Exchange, amid heightened interest in the country''s dairy trade.