USDEC President hopes for fast export market recovery after COVID-19

The President of the U.S. Dairy Export Council says the American dairy industry’s recovery after COVID-19 has passed, depends a lot on what other countries are doing.  Tom Vilsack says, “It depends in large part on how effective the public health initiatives are in the various countries that make up our markets, and whether or not the interventions by governments to prop up and to stimulate the economy work.”

Vilsack tells Brownfield if foreign countries are successful in stimulating their economies, U.S. dairy exports could see a quick recovery.  Vilsack says southeast Asia had very good export numbers, even in February before coronavirus struck the U.S.  He’s optimistic that the market can grow even more. “We’re opening up our Center for Dairy Excellence in Singapore on the theory that’s going to be a center of activity in the future. We’re hopeful that China continues to do what it’s been doing recently in terms of the Phase One Trade Agreement. We saw whey sales, for example, were up which was a good sign. The Chinese government is considering expanding the use of permeate to food products in addition to feed. That would be beneficial.”

Vilsack is also hopeful trade with Mexico can pick up, but low oil prices and a devalued peso are making that difficult.  He says implementation of the USMCA would also help dairy exports.

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