Southeast Asia dominating dairy export opportunities

An ag economist says the U.S. dairy industry likely has the greatest potential to meet growing demand needs in Southeast Asia.

“And with the population growth path that they have in front of them, and with all of these people moving into the middle class—that is the growth opportunity for U.S. dairy.”

Tanner Ehmke with CoBank tells Brownfield when compared to New Zealand and the European Union, the U.S. dairy industry is better positioned to capture growth as those regions face increasing regulatory and environmental constraints.

“Number one, we have a little more room to grow in terms of where you can move your cows, we’ve invested very heavily in dairy production in the U.S., and we have a lot more space and water, things like that,” he explains.

But to make the most of growth opportunities, Ehmke says the U.S. needs to be making more trade agreements and lowering barriers to remain competitive longer-term.

In 2020, Southeast Asia has become the largest export destination for U.S. dairy products and a new report from CoBank outlines opportunities that lie ahead.

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