UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS — Following Europe and New Zealand, the United States has become the No. 3 dairy exporter in the world, said Mark Voorbergen, a dairy expert for Rabobank. The United States passed Australia to move up the ranking.

"Australian drought conditions over the past few years affected milk production," Mr. Voorbergen said. "In 2008, dairy export focus weakened in Australia providing space for the U.S. to move into the third spot."

Rabobank has released its World Dairy Map, which examines world dairy trade flows, milk production statistics, export markets, consumption patterns and processor consolidation. The new map shows that while the United States is a sizable dairy exporter, it is also a destination for imports. For example, the United States is the main importer of casein around the world while New Zealand is the primary supplier.