Even with China anchoring dairy export totals, the total value of U.S. dairy exports was up 6% in May and at $539.1 million reached the highest level in four years, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Higher values were fueled by an increase in cheese exports and improved world prices. 

Through the end of May, overall volume of U.S. dairy exports is on track to be the third highest on record. This is despite the heavy anchor China is placing on product sales. Shipments of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey products and lactose to China were down 67%, while exports to the rest of the world were down just 1%, USDEC reports. In total, U.S. export volume was off 13% from what was a robust May 2018.