Exports of U.S. dairy products topped $9.5 billion and 2.8 million metric tons, both records

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2023—Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement today on the news that U.S. agricultural exports including dairy set a record for both value and volume in 2022. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today, U.S. dairy exports to the world totaled $9.5 billion last year, topping the 2021 dairy export value record by 25% and representing an 85% increase in just the past 10 years. Moreover, U.S. dairy exports logged 2.82 million metric tons of volume in 2022, another record and a 52% increase over the past 10 years.

“Today’s export figures represent the pace at which the U.S. dairy industry is innovating and capitalizing on opportunities to sell U.S.-made dairy products overseas. Consumers in the United States and around the world continue to demand more U.S. dairy because we provide an assortment of delicious, nutritious, affordable, and sustainable dairy products. From high-value whey to award-winning cheeses, from milk powders used to make life-saving products for children and adults to safe and nutritious, shelf-stable milk, U.S. dairy is known throughout the world for quality and reliability. We are poised to become the world’s leading supplier of dairy products thanks to the resilience and innovation of American dairy exporters and dairy foods companies.

“As we dig into the export data released today, we see that U.S. dairy exports hit a record $9.51 billion in 2022, outperforming the previous record of $7.61 billion achieved in 2021. While inflation played a role in export values, total dairy export volume also set a new high, reaching 2.82 million metric tons to outpace the previous record of 2.67 million metric tons set in 2021. Export volumes to our top four dairy markets abroad—Mexico, Canada, China and Philippines—all hit record volumes. The totals are striking because the market for U.S. dairy products was almost entirely domestic just three decades ago. The U.S. dairy industry now exports approximately 18% of all milk production.

“As U.S. milk production continues to increase over the next decade while other dairy-producing competitors see decreasing production, the U.S. government must ensure there are functioning, efficient avenues for U.S. dairy exports to meet growing global demand. IDFA urges the Biden Administration and Congress to pursue new free trade agreements in emerging markets for U.S. dairy and to continue to hold trading partners with whom we have agreements to their commitments.”

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.

IDFA Media Contact

Andrew Jerome

Associate Vice President, Communications