**July exports of U.S. dairy products continued to show amazing strength, up 22% in volume and up 17% in value, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

According to milkbusiness.com, Council numbers show for the first 7 months of the year, exports are up 16% on a milk solids basis while dollar value is up 14%.

Southeast Asia has been the biggest growth area along with increased whey sales to China.

The one weak spot has been Mexico, where overall export volume dropped 18% since April.

**Impacts of the pandemic continue to reverberate through the meat business.

An American Farm Bureau Federation analysis shows the gap between the retail price and farm price of beef is the largest in 50 years of record keeping. A similar gap exists in pork prices.

While pandemic-related demand boosted retail prices, slowdowns at meat processing plants led to a backup of animals in the marketing chain that drove farmers' prices down.

**Last Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked a “skinny,” $500 billion COVID relief package introduced by Republicans, significantly reducing chances of a compromise before the November election.

The National Pork Producers Council reports, Senators voted 52-47 on the bill, which included $20 billion in additional aid for agriculture and another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, among other things, but failing to get the 60 votes necessary.

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