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Food & Beverage

Asia Pizza Demand Boosts US Cheese Exports

July 18, 2011
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Bloomberg reports, Asia’s growing appetite for pizza and cheeseburgers means the U.S. is exporting the most cheese ever, boosting commodity costs for companies including Kraft Foods Inc. Wholesale cheddar-cheese prices have rallied 53 percent this year as the U.S. shipped more than twice as much to Asia in the first four months of 2011 as a year earlier, U.S. Dairy Export Council data show. South Korea, the region’s biggest buyer, almost tripled imports while China’s more than doubled. The cheese boom pushed milk futures to a four-year high this week and is increasing costs for Kraft, the world’s second-largest food company. Surging global demand for food will boost U.S. farm exports to a record $137 billion in the year ending on Sept. 30, the government said in May. In the four months ended April 30, cheese shipments from the U.S. increased 68 percent from a year earlier, and exports in 2010 were a record 173,531 tons, according to the export council. The export market for U.S. dairy products is growing eight times faster than domestic demand, according to the National Milk Producers Federation. The U.S. is the world’s fourth-biggest cheese shipper, behind the European Union, New Zealand and Australia.

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