We hear a lot these days about so much cheese out there for U.S. consumers to eat. But here’s one very positive twist: U.S. cheese exports broke records in June, according to data released this week by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). A total of 37.7 million pounds were exported, which is a record, and 85% above year ago.
Other export categories are also moving to strong overseas demand: 79.9 million pounds of skim milk powder (SMP) exports were recorded for June. This is slightly below May but up a dramatic 78% from a year ago.
Whey protein exports were up 44% and exported butterfat was a whopping 244% higher than June of 2009.
USDA reports exports were valued at $1.725 billion for the first half of the year. That is 66% higher than the first half of 2009. The export volumes were also higher across the board.
Big-time increases in Mozzarella production
Here is something else to say "cheese" about: Mozzarella production has skyrocketed the first half of 2010, up seven percent from last year. June’s output, alone, was a record high mozzarella production for any single month ever.
Trade analysts point to a pickup in pizza sales by major restaurant chains that are running specials and using more cheese on each pie.
Dominos’ sales are up a reported 9% over last year and Pizza Hut up 8%.
The Cold Storage Inventory reports that have kept a damper on market morale, still showed plenty of cheese at the end of June; however, much of that cheese is Italian and "other" category cheeses. The dairy producer’s milk price does not even factor the value of mozzarella, even though production of Italian cheeses (of which mozzarella is the majority) are poisted to surpass cheddar production this year.