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Bill Baker | DairyBusiness Radio
LEVITT: EXPORT MARKET SUPPORTING DOMESTIC PRICES
DAIRY TRADE OUTLOOK REMAINS STRONG
By Bill Baker
It’s hard to see world dairy prices falling
anytime soon, according to Alan Levitt with
the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
DairyLine Radio (DLR): Alan, how
important has the world market been in
supporting the U.S. market in 2013?
Levitt: The U.S. all-milk price has been
between $19 and $20 every month this year
and that’s actually pretty remarkable. The
milk price this year is going to be the second
highest ever – just a little shy of the 2011
record. I think this is even more remarkable
(because) it is taking place in a period where
domestic consumption has actually been
pretty sluggish and our inventories have
grown. DLR: You reported that the real
difference maker this year has been
the strength of the global markets and
also the way U.S. suppliers have been
committed to exports.
Levitt: To put that into context, the first
half of the year, we exported 14.7% of our
milk production on a total solids basis.
That’s a record. We sold half of our milk
powder, nearly 6% of our cheese and 7% of
our butter overseas. Those sales have been
critical to help clear the domestic market and
keep supplies more balanced at home.
DLR: That’s great news, but are we
gaining share at all?
Levitt: Yes, from a business standpoint the
9 good news is we
have gained share
against all of our
this year. In the first
half of the year, U.S.
share of exports
– milk, powder,
and whey, from the
top nine exporters
in the world was 18.4%. So, we’ve picked
up a couple points of share (from last year).
New Zealand gained a half-point because
they had some heavy shipments earlier
in the year. The EU has lost share for the
“The outlook is for continued tight
supplies and strong global prices, at
least through the end of the year. That, in
turn, is going to support U.S. prices, and
that’s going to be beneficial for U.S. dairy
farmers.” -- Alan Levitt, U.S. Dairy Export Council
third straight year. Australia, Argentina and
Ukraine have also declined, so we’ve been
able to pick up a little bit there.
DLR: What’s the outlook?
Levitt: I think the outlook looks really good
for the rest of the year, maybe even into
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