Wednesday, June 13, 2018

U.S. complains about Canadian milk exports

The United States Dairy Export Council is complaining that Canadians are using the new low-priced milk category to export skim milk powder in competition with Americans.

The chief executive officer, Tom Vilsack, who was agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama, said Canada’s supply management system was designed to protect Canadian dairy farmers, not to compete for export markets.

His comments narrow the dairy-industry issues to the new pricing category that was designed to enable Canadian processors to displace imports of U.S. diafiltered milk.

U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has repeatedly and angrily tweeted this week that he wants Canada’s supply management system dismantled.                

Vilsack said Canadians “have decided to go significantly into the export market by undercutting the world price for milk powder.” 

Canadian exports of skim milk powder more than tripled to 71,880 tonnes in 2017 from a year earlier, worth $173 million, according to Statistics Canada data.

That gives Canada close to three per cent of global trade, according to Agri-Food Economic Systems.