In 2016, cheese exports from the five leading global dairy traders—Argentina, Australia, the European Union (EU), New Zealand and the United States—increased 5 percent to a record 1.66 million metric tons. And they are picking up steam.
Over the four months from March-June 2017, exports from the top five grew 10 percent from the same period the previous year. Cheese shipments to China, South Korea and Mexico increased more than 25 percent each, while exports to Southeast Asia and Japan jumped 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
The main beneficiary for that four-month period was the United States, which boosted exports 32 percent compared to the previous year—a welcome shift after significant cheese volume declines in 2015 and 2016.