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USDA Reduces Fiscal 2015 Dairy Export Forecast, 2016 Unchanged

Fiscal 2015 Forecast Cut By $400 Million To $5.8 Billion As US Dairy Products Face Strong Competition, Low Prices

Washington—The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in its quarterly “Outlook for US Agricultural Trade” report released Thursday, reduced its fiscal 2015 dairy export forecast and predicted that fiscal 2016 dairy exports would remain essentially unchanged.

The agency reduced its fiscal 2015 dairy export forecast by $400 million, to $5.8 billion, as US cheese, nonfat dry milk, and whey face strong competition and low prices in a weak world market.

During the first nine months of fiscal 2015 (October of 2014 through June of 2015), US dairy exports were valued at $4.356 billion, down 23.8 percent, or $1.36 billion, from the first nine months of fiscal 2014.

US dairy exports during fiscal 2014 were valued at a record high $7.408 billion.

Fiscal 2016 dairy exports are forecast to remain essentially unchanged, at $5.8 billion, as declining global prices are expected to offset modest gains in export volumes.

Meanwhile, USDA revised its fiscal 2015 dairy import forecast by $100 million, to $3.6 billion. During the first nine months of fiscal 2015, US dairy imports were valued at $2.661 billion, up 12.3 percent, or $292 million, from the first nine months of fiscal 2014.

US dairy imports during fiscal 2014 were valued at a record high $3.278 billion.

USDA revised its fiscal 2015 cheese import forecast down $100 million, to $1.4 billion. During the first nine months of fiscal 2015, cheese imports were valued at $985 million, up 8.8 percent, or $80 million, from the first nine months of fiscal 2014.

Cheese imports during fiscal 2014 were valued at $1.23 billion.

USDA is forecasting that US dairy imports in fiscal 2016 will decline $100 million from its forecast for fiscal 2015 dairy imports, to $3.5 billion. The agency expects US cheese imports in fiscal 2016 to be valued at $1.4 billion, unchanged from the revised forecast for fiscal 2015.

USDA’s forecast for overall fiscal 2015 agricultural exports was revised down by $1.0 billion from the May forecast, to $139.5 billion. The fiscal 2015 import forecast is down $1.5 billion, to $115.5 billion.

Fiscal 2016 agricultural exports are projected at $138.5 billion, down $1.0 billion from the revised forecast for fiscal 2015. This decline is primarily due to oilseeds and products, which are down $4.4 billion as a result of lower expected soybean and soybean meal prices and reduced export volumes.

US agricultural imports for fiscal 2016 are forecast at a record $122.5 billion, $7 billion higher than fiscal 2015. Increases in import values are expected for most products in 2016, with the largest gains in horticultural, and sugar and tropical products.

The US agricultural trade surplus is expected to fall by $8 billion in fiscal 2016 to $16.0 billion, which would be the smallest surplus since 2007.

World economic growth is expected to rise to 2.9 percent in
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