Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 2/21/2020
Dairy Export and Import Values in 2019

Taking a broad view of the U.S. dairy sector exports and imports is useful. But there is much involved, and accounting for dairy products incorporated into many items is nearly impossible (butter in bakery products, cheese on frozen pizza, etc.). Seven categories were developed that are traded in bulk using the annual dollar value data compiled by USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service. Those categories we aggregated to were: live dairy cattle; milk, cream, and powder; whey; natural milk products (which is yogurt), butter; cheese; and casein.

Fed Cattle; Australia is a Player.

Cattle feedlots provide efficiency for the entire beef sector, let alone a ready market for calves and yearlings. On a large commercial scale, those advantages have mostly been the bailiwick of North America, the U.S. and Canada, and more recently Mexico. There also have been modest but growing commercial feedlots in South America (mostly Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay), and some former Soviet Republic countries. Since 2000, the most aggressive growth rate in commercial cattle feeding has occurred in Australia. Recently, the Australian feedlot headcount is about 5% of the U.S. number.

Corn and Soy Prospects

Earlier this week, USDA announced its projections for the upcoming marketing year 2020/21 for corn and soybeans at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum.  USDA expects corn acres to increase about 5 million acres, up from 89 million acres last year.  Soybean acres are expected to increase 9 million acres, rebounding from the 76 million acres in the prior year.