Through the pandemic, U.S. dairy exports are achieving records. William Loux, Vice President of Global Economic Affairs at the U.S. Dairy Exports Council, explains.
“In many ways it has been very good for us dairy, frankly, to have that export market. We’ve had plenty of challenges here obviously with COVID-19, uncertain economic environment, but exports really came through. We are now going on three straight record years for dairy exports in volume and two straight record years in value over all. And a lot of that has to do with the investments that we’ve made really over the past not just a couple of years, but over the past decades that we’ve invested in the export market to be able to maneuver and change as market conditions change to be able to move more dairy products overseas and help U.S. dairy farmers and those here in Wisconsin.”
He says U.S. dairy exports are helping to fill voids created by other markets.
“This past year, U.S. dairy exports are looking to be up four percent. We’re waiting on one month of data but basically the U.S. is going to have a record year for volume. And at that same token Europe contracted by roughly the exact same amount that the U.S. grew. So, fundamentally the U.S. grew more than the rest of the world combined. New Zealand was down, Europe was down, some of those secondary producers like Australia, Argentina, were lackluster if they grew at all. And so, really the world right now I think is looking to the U.S. to be that market of growth for global demand of dairy.”
Loux details how the U.S. dairy industry can continue to grow exports.
“It’s going to be across the country, but really, we’ve got to make investments both in plant facilities in order to make sure that we have the products that international consumers want, we’re making the right specifications, we’re making the right investments in high value products that we’re not just moving commodities anymore. We are a diversified supplier to that global market and our customers want a diversified supply. But a lot of it also has to do with access, making sure that we’ve got the right policies in place in order to put us on equal footing with our very entrenched and well established competitors in Oceania and in Europe and also making sure that we have a strong shipping reliability bases here.”