Home News Ag Economics Record US Dairy Exports in 2021, Assistance Still Needed to Ease Supply Chain Challenges

Record US Dairy Exports in 2021, Assistance Still Needed to Ease Supply Chain Challenges

According to USDA today, 2021 U.S. farm and food products to the world totaled $177 billion, topping the 2020 total by 18 percent and eclipsing the previous record set in 2014 by 14.6 percent. Moreover, U.S. agricultural exports logged 230.7 million metric tons of volume in 2021, another record.

“Today’s export figures demonstrate how the United States is 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,” shared Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association.  “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 ESL milk, U.S. dairy is known throughout the world for quality and reliability.

Dykes continued, “As we dig into the export data released today, we see that U.S. dairy exports hit a record $7.66 billion in 2021, outperforming the previous record of $7.08 billion achieved in 2014. Volume also set a new high, reaching 2.69 million metric tons to outpace the previous record of 2.44 million metric tons set in 2020.

“Outstanding results like (this) in U.S. dairy exports don’t happen overnight. They’re the result of a lot of hard work by our industry to build demand for U.S. dairy products around the world and harness the opportunities that past trade deals – from U.S. free trade agreements to the World Trade Organization’s Uruguay Round – have made available,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “We look forward to continuing to build on this success further and to ensure we have the right trade and export supply chain policy tools to support that growth.”

“The record demand for U.S. milk overseas in 2021 is a testament to the hard work and dedication of U.S. dairy farmers and the entire industry to making sure our high-quality, nutritious products feed the world as well as Americans,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “As we’ve said many times, exports represent the next frontier for U.S. dairy – it’s gratifying to see decades of effort bear fruit and only makes us more excited about the future successes ahead.”

“While today’s news is certainly cause for celebration among U.S. food and agriculture, exporters throughout the dairy industry remain severely challenged by supply chain challenges that have hampered our ability to export more product, fulfill obligations to customers, and meet the world’s growing demand for U.S. dairy,” Dykes clarified.  “According to industry estimates, export delays and supply chain challenges have cost the dairy industry more than $1.5 billion in lost opportunities. Through the IDFA Supply Chain Task Force and Dairy Exports Working Group, IDFA members and partners continue to look for long-term solutions to help U.S. dairy exports reach greater heights in the months and years ahead. We encourage the Biden Administration to remain active in removing bottlenecks, investing in infrastructure, and looking at public-private solutions to ease supply chain challenges.”

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