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Dairy Facts 2016

Primary Markets

Flags of several nations

Primary Markets for U.S. Dairy Exports

North America is currently the largest market for U.S. dairy exports.  Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) American dairy companies have found the most success exporting to our neighboring partners, Mexico and Canada. 

    • Mexico is currently the largest export market for our products, accounting for over $1 billion worth of exports and about 25 percent the domestic dairy export volume in 2011. Strong income and population growth should continue to drive demand, especially for high-quality cheese and other dairy products like ice cream and yogurt.
    • Canada is the second biggest export market for U.S. dairy exports despite the country's significant import restrictions. Canada received nearly 10 percent of total U.S. dairy exports in 2011.

The Pacific Rim is one of the largest and fastest growing markets for U.S. dairy exports. There have been consistent increases in exports to those nations over the past few years. In 2011 alone, Pacific Rim nations imported more than $2 billion worth of dairy products from the United States, an amount that nearly tripled what was imported in 2009.

These countries include:

      • Brunei
      • Cambodia
      • China
      • Indonesia
      • Japan
      • Malaysia
      • Papua New Guinea
      • Philippines
      • Singapore
      • South Korea
      • Taiwan
      • Thailand
      • Vietnam

Products in Demand

U.S. cheese exports have grown steadily throughout the last decade, reaching $958 million in 2011, an increase of 38 percent over 2010 exports. Mexico, Canada and the Pacific Rim nations account for most of these exports.  Due to changing tastes and urbanization, Asia has accounted for a significant part of this increase.

Ice cream and yogurt also have experienced a steady increase in demand over the last several years, in conjunction with technological advancements, including more efficient means of exporting these goods.  An important implementation is that of the cold chain program.

Dairy Delivers