The dairy industry is crucial in any given nation’s food supply as milk represents a nutrient-dense and adaptable product that can be utilized throughout the food supply chain. The dairy market comprises a range of products from traditional items such as fluid milk, butter, and cheeses to the ingredient market featuring powdered and processed products that are added to any number of food items.
Key facts about the global dairy market
- US milk production in 2019 was 218.3 billion lbs, which represented a new record level of production.
- Milk production efficiency continues to improve as dairy cows give more milk every year. Annual growth in production per cow (PPC) in the US has been positive since 2001 and has averaged 1.6% over the last 30 years.
- In 2019, exports of US dairy products accounted for 14.5% of total production. Mexico was the largest importer of US dairy products.
- When considering production of only cow’s milk, the US is the world’s largest producer followed by India and Brazil. When expanded to also include buffalo milk production, India becomes the world’s largest milk producer.
- The major exporting regions include the US, Europe, and Oceania. Production and exports in Oceania, particularly New Zealand, have increased over the past three decades as trade relations with China have blossomed.