Dairy Market Report Q2 2021 – United States

Foodcom Experts
6 min reading
Dairy Market Report Q2 2021 – United States
Read our report on the U.S. dairy market. Take a look at milk production numbers, cow count, and export trends. Read about increased exports of butter and SMP and decreased deliveries of cheese. Discover details on dairy trade between the U.S. and China in the first half of 2021.

The situation on the US domestic dairy market

Between January and June 2021, U.S. milk deliveries grew by 2.4% compared to the same period last year. Similarly, cheese production increased by 3.3% while butter output dropped by 2.1%. In the first half of 2021, cow’s milk production output equaled over 52.126 million tonnes, up from 50.914 million obtained in the same period last year. While the number of farms is decreasing, the cow count has been rising in the last months to over 9.5 million registered at the end of June 2021. Milk production is hitting a seasonal slide. Schools are propelling the demand for Class I milk, but the supply is secured for the upcoming term.

Export of the US dairy products

Between January and June, the U.S. milk export to the largest buyer Taiwan decreased by 4.2% from the same period last year and amounted to a total of 25,120 tonnes. Canada increased milk orders from its neighbor by 36.50% to 25,625 tonnes purchased in the first half of 2021. The Dominican Republic and Hong Kong increased the purchases of American milk by over 30% in that time, while China bought almost 400,00 tonnes, representing an increase of 193% compared to the same period last year.

Key buyers of butter

The key buyer of the U.S. butter was Canada with 7,745 tonnes of the product ordered in the first half of 2021 representing an increase of over 95% compared to last year. Saudi Arabia purchased 2.615 tonnes – over 40% more than in the same period of 2020. However, the most significant increase in orders came from China with 1.062 tonnes ordered and representing a growth of 527%.

Cheese exports

Cheese exports are slightly lower in 2021. The main buyers of the American cheese were Mexico, South Korea, and Japan, with minor decreases in orders in the first half of 2021. Canada and Chile upped the purchases by 46.47% and 24.19% respectively compared to the same period in 2020. China ordered 4,147 tonnes of cheese from the U.S. – 14.38% less than a year ago.


The SMP export is raising – the main buyer of the product Mexico increased the orders by 23.41% to a total of 170,112 tonnes. Other increases in purchases of 44% to 46% came from Vietnam, Egypt, and Peru. Colombia ordered 5,962 tonnes of the product – over 40% less SMP than in the first half of 2020. 

Trade flow with China

The U.S. was the third-largest dairy supplier to China in the first half of 2021. In June this year, the country delivered 31,555 tonnes of dairy goods to Chinese buyers – a decrease of 2.7% compared to June 2020. However, the U.S. shipped a total of 207,654 tonnes of dairy products to China in the first six months of 2021 and noted a growth of 35.8% compared to the same period last year. Compared to the same period last year, China increased its purchases of the American whey powder by almost 74% and upped the orders for SMP by 220%.

Imports of dairy products

In terms of imports, the U.S. increased the orders for cheese from almost all key suppliers between January and June 2021. Purchases of Italian and Irish cheese were upped by 25.42% and 67.23% respectively, while orders for the Canadian product grew by almost 41% compared to the same period last year.

However, butter imports were rather below 2020 levels. Deliveries from key suppliers such as Ireland decreased by 6.39% and from India by 32.66%. Significant drops in orders were seen for the Mexican and Canadian products, with decreases of 84.16% and almost 93% respectively. However, the purchases for New Zealand butter increased by 32.90% to a total of 5,748 tonnes.
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