US dairy exports have grown substantially as demand and prices increase both at home and abroad, a report by the US International Dairy Foods Association has revealed.

Government support programs purchased 225m kilograms of non-fat dry milk and subsidized 63m kilograms for export between 2000 and 2004, when total powder exports more than doubled, reaching 230m kilograms, 80% of which was non-subsidized.

But in 2005 the rate of growth in the dairy sector increased considerably. Total non-fat dry milk exports increased by a further 20%, representing almost half of US production, with no subsidies or buy-outs. Domestic prices are continuing to grow, averaging about US$2.83 per kilogram last month. Exports of whey and lactose products are also on the rise, representing 40% and 60% of their respective production.