U.S. dairy product exports grew by 9 percent to reach $6.5 billion in 2020 despite significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing trade policy issues with Canada and China. While still below the record level in 2014, this was the fourth year in a row that the value of U.S. dairy product exports expanded, registering an average annual growth rate of 8 percent over this period.
Mexico, Canada, and China were the top three markets, accounting for about 45 percent of sales. Sales to Mexico were down 8 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic leading to slower economic growth and reduced consumer spending. Southeast Asia remains a critical region for growth, with the value of dairy shipments up an impressive 25 percent from 2019 to reach $2.7 billion. There were notable increases in exports of whey & whey products to China, and skimmed milk powder (SMP) to the Philippines and Indonesia.
USDA's latest official data on U.S. and global trade, production, consumption and stocks, as well as analysis of developments affecting world trade in dairy, can be found in the Dairy: World Markets and Trade report.