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U.S. dairy exports headed toward record year but ‘crisis’ ahead

Updated Nov 5, 2021
While U.S. dairy product exports are headed for a record year, the ongoing supply chain crisis could cause irreparable harm going forward, dairy industry representatives warn.
First, a look at some topline numbers. According to monthly data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Nov. 5, the value of U.S. dairy product exports for fiscal year (FY) 2021 (October 2020-September 2021) hit $7.394 billion, up 13% from FY 2020 and about equal with the previous record high of $7.4 billion in FY 2014. (The USDA and Department of Commerce also calculate the value of exports based on World Trade Organization definitions. Under those calculations, FY 2021 dairy exports totaled $7.319 billion.) Despite those numbers, current logistical problems pose a permanent threat to U.S. dairy exporters, Mike Durkin, president and CEO of Leprino Foods, said during a U.S. House Agriculture Committee hearing on Nov. 3. “The supply chain challenges have significantly impacted our business, and we don’t expect them to ease anytime soon,” Durkin said. “This export crisis may well result in irreparable harm to American agriculture as customers around the world are questioning ...
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