U.S. dairy exports achieved new value and volume milestones in 2022. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that exports of dairy products passed $9 billion for the first time. Figures for 2022 show that exports increased 25 percent over the year prior, to a total of $9.6 billion. The previous record set in 2021 was $7.6 billion. Export volume also reached a new high, totaling 2.82 million metric tons in 2022. Furthermore, overall dairy export volume was equivalent to 18 percent of all domestically produced milk.
“A record percentage of U.S. milk production was exported overseas,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “This happened despite the headwinds our exporters battled last year, which included supply chain challenges, a lack of new trade agreements to establish more level playing fields abroad, and other barriers to trade that threatened to upend progress.”
New Record Continues Overall Trend
Over the past 10 years, U.S. dairy export value has increased by 85 percent. Volume has also increased by 52 percent over that same period. The International Dairy Foods Association notes that the export gains are exceptional considering the U.S. was the primary market for domestically produced dairy 30 years ago. The most valuable markets for U.S. dairy in 2022 were Mexico, Southeast Asia, Canada, China, and South Korea. Substantial gains in market value were also made in Central America and Japan.
“The U.S. dairy industry didn’t get to this point overnight,” U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) President and CEO Krysta Harden said in a press release. “It’s taken more than two decades of hard work to reach it—work strengthening the global reputation of the U.S. as a reliable supplier of high-quality dairy products, building relationships with overseas buyers, promoting dairy consumption in high-potential markets, and investing in people, products and infrastructure specifically to serve the varying needs of consumers from Tokyo to Dubai to Lima.”