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2013 CWT’s Biggest-Ever Export Year

January 10, 2014

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) had its biggest year in 2013, with American-type cheese export sales topping 127 million pounds, and butter exports approaching 90 million pounds. The product is going to 40 countries on six continents.

CWT-assisted cheese sales rose 5.4 million pounds (4.4%) over 2012’s level, to 127.9 million pounds. The primary type of cheese sold was cheddar at 76%; however, the percentage of export sales that was Gouda reached 5% in 2013, up from just 2% in 2012. Monterey Jack exports through CWT reached 19% last year, up from 13% in 2012.

The majority of cheese sales were in Asia, with Japan the largest buyer. North Africa accounted for 25% of sales, with the lion’s share being sold in Egypt. Sales to countries in the Middle East accounted for 12% of sales.

CWT-assisted butter sales (at 82% fat content) reached 97.2 million pounds in 2013, up 16.1 million pounds (22%) from the sales level reached in 2012. The Middle East bought 53% of the 2013 CWT-assisted butter sales, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 40% of the sales in the Middle East, followed by Iran at 21%.

Through October of 2013, shipments of CWT-assisted sales represented 19% of total U.S. cheese exports, and 82% of all American-type cheese exports. For butter, the 80.5 million pounds of shipments sold with CWT export assistance is equal to 57% of all butter exported in the first 10 months of 2013.

Thanks to the continuing investment of the dairy farmer members of 38 cooperatives in 2014 and 2015, CWT will be able to provide export assistance when needed to cooperative members that are expanding the market for U.S. American-type cheeses, butter and whole milk powder in key foreign markets.