WASHINGTON, August 6, 2020—Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, released the following statement today on the June 2020 agricultural export data released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: 

“Once again, despite the challenging situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. dairy exports are posting positive gains in value and volume to markets around the world. In fact, dairy is outperforming many other food and agricultural exports this year. Exports of dairy products are up 14% by value through June over the same six-month period from last year; meanwhile, volume is 12% higher over the same period.

“When we dive into the data, we also see that U.S. dairy exports experienced a major bounce in markets where the United States recently established new trade agreements, removed barriers, or has strengthened relationships with trading partners. Just before and after agreements entered into force, overseas customers began buying up cheese, whey, NFDM and other dairy products.

“The month before the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect, for example, cheese exports to Mexico surged 68% in value and 61% in volume from May to June, demonstrating the effects of strong market signals to customers abroad. China offers another example. The Phase 1 U.S.-China agreement went into effect January 15. Since May, when port operations in China stabilized, U.S. dairy exports to China took off. In the first six months of 2020, dairy export volume is up a whopping 39% to China over the same period as last year. Whey exports for feed are gaining as China rebuilds it hog herds after outbreaks of African swine fever. Looking at growth from May through June 2020, dairy exports to China have doubled their pace from last year. Turkey offers another example. U.S. dairy exports to Turkey have surged more than 200% in volume already this year thanks in large part to USDA reestablishing a dairy certificate program with Turkey in late 2018.

“IDFA will continue to encourage the U.S. government to prioritize dairy in ongoing negotiations with the United Kingdom and Kenya to level the playing field for U.S. dairy abroad and to enhance confidence in the United States as the go-to supplier of high-quality, safe, affordable dairy products.”

For more information on IDFA’s position on U.S.-Kenya negotiations, click here.

Media contact:
Matt Herrick