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. (KFT) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST).”

“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, and Costco Wholesale Corp., the largest U.S. warehouse-club chain. 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.”

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