US Cheese, Milk Powder Exports Outpace 2011

US - US exports of cheese and non-fat dry milk (NDM) and skimmed milk powder (SMP) through February 2012 are outpacing last year according to trade data released by US Census Bureau, writes Mary Ledman, Sara Dorland, Sarina Sharp and Karen Endres on 12 April 2012.
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Total cheese and curd exports through Feb. 29, 2012 are 88.2 million lbs., up 3.4% vs. last year. (Leap Day has a modest positive impact on year-to-year comparisons).

Stronger cheese exports are driven by a 26% increase in Cheddar cheese and a 13% gain in processed cheese exports. To date exports of Cheddar cheese to Mexico total 4.1 million lbs. compared to 638,000 lbs. last year.

Greater Cheddar cheese exports contributed to lower American cheese stocks in February 2012, down 2.3% vs. 2011. Exports of NDM/SMP through February 2012 total 173.0 million lbs. That is 5.0% more than last year.

With a 40% market share, Mexico is the largest importer of U.S.produced NDM/SMP. Through Feb. 29, 2012, Mexico imports of NDM/SMP total 69.7 million lbs., up 56% vs. last year. Modestly higher exports were not enough to curb the growing supply of NDM/SMP. Stocks of NDM totaled 196.3 million lbs. in February 2012. That is 58.7% more than last year.

Dry product prices reported by Dairy Market News today were mostly lower; albeit, casein prices were unchanged and lactose prices were 2.0¢ higher on the high end of the range 89.0¢ to 94.0¢. The Central dry whey mostly range is 50.0¢ to 60.0¢, down 4.0¢ on the low end and 2.0¢ lower on the high end. The West dry whey mostly range is 48.0¢ to 55.25¢, down a penny on the high side. The Central and West regions are reporting NDM price lows of $1.1250/lb. and $1.1300/lb., respectively. The Central/ East NDM mostly range is $1.1700/lb. to $1.3200/lb., down 1.0¢ on the low end. The West NDM mostly range is $1.1700/lb. to $1.3000/lb., down a penny on the low end and 2.0¢ lower on the high end.

The CME spot barrel cheese price closed at $1.4075/lb., down 5.25¢ after seven trades. The NDM markets closed a nickel lower at $1.2175/lb. and $1.2075/lb.

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