This June Dairy month, dairy farmers have extra reasons to celebrate. Dairy farmers have been enjoying some of the best prices in years. A big reason is a surge in demand for dairy exports, industry experts say.
"The export market has been extremely strong the first quarter," said Katelyn McCullock, dairy and forage economist for the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC).
The total value of all dairy exports was $717 million during March 2014, up 46 percent from last year, the most recent data from the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) shows.
China, Mexico, Southeast Asia and the Middle East/North Africa regions have proven to be pretty strong markets for the U.S. dairy industry. These four customers accounted for nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports during March, according to the USDEC’s data.
More than adding cheese
McCullock said selling more dairy products is more than just adding a little more cheese on a pizza, it’s about determining which avenues are best for which export market.
"Pizza places are going to open in markets where they’re probably already consuming some ...