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Friday, October 30, 2020

IDFA calls for elimination of dairy export barriers

Comments to USTR call for action against Canada, EU and other nations limiting dairy exports.

In recent years, more and more countries have erected obstacles and barriers to U.S. dairy exports, hurting dairy processors and thousands of other businesses that rely on U.S. dairy exports for jobs and wages, according to International Dairy Foods Assn. (IDFA) vice president for trade policy and international affairs Becky Rasdall. IDFA is asking the U.S. Trade Representative to eliminate the long-standing barriers.

IDFA submitted a robust set of comments to USTR regarding the "National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers to U.S. Exports" for 2021. Each year, USTR publishes the NTE Report to highlight barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment and the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The U.S. exports approximately $6 billion in dairy products to more than 146 countries around the world every year, or approximately one day’s worth of U.S. milk production each week – about 15% of all production. As a result, trade is a policy priority for the industry, as is maintaining open export markets that enable U.S. dairy producers and exporters to maximize their opportunities.

Rasdall said IDFA remains disappointed in a variety of Canadian trade barriers that may violate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), including policies that prevent building branded U.S. businesses in Canada, limiting tariff rate quota (TRQ) fill rates to very low quantities and — most egregiously — creating a new milk class to replace Class 7 (Class 4(a)), which effectively recreates the trade-distorting effects of Class 7 that were central to the USMCA negotiation.

The comments note that IDFA is concerned about policies that are preventing the U.S. dairy industry from reaching the $227 million in additional annual dairy exports the agreement should have achieved, as indicated by the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) estimate.

“Canada is clearly seeking to negate any potentially significant gains U.S. dairy exporters stood to realize under Canada’s USMCA commitments by simply and openly violating the commitments,” the comments to USTR noted. "IDFA is concerned that Canada is using the conditions in its regulations rather than its USMCA commitments to further prevent building branded U.S. businesses in Canada and to limit imports to bulk ingredients – all while boosting Canadian market prices of the same products. Ultimately, Canada’s TRQ conditions will continue to disincentivize the consistent value-added dairy exports USMCA should have facilitated unless the United States pursues enforcement of the relevant USMCA provisions against Canada."

In addition, IDFA said it is deeply concerned with the European Union’s efforts to protect its dairy industry with a flawed public intervention stocks programs that buys up European milk powder, holds it in government warehouses and releases it onto the global market, thus depressing prices and limiting competition for U.S. dairy exports.

U.S. dairy exports to the EU are -- and have been -- exponentially lower than the EU’s dairy exports to the U.S. for many years, due mostly to the EU's wide-ranging protectionist measures. For example, U.S. dairy exports to the EU reached just over 6% of the value of EU dairy exports to the U.S. in 2019, which is, unfortunately, a ratio that is approximately historically consistent with the dairy trade imbalance that has existed between the U.S. and EU to date.

Europe’s geographical indication (GI) policies embrace the concept that product names such as feta or parmesan, which have long been used commonly in the U.S. and around the world and have, as such, become generic, should be limited for use by producers of those products in specified regions.

In the comments, IDFA said it views the EU’s GI policies "as a clear effort ... to limit competition in the EU and reserve a significant portion of the EU market for domestic producers, all while European cheese producers are fully able to compete in the United States and abroad. ... At a time when the dairy and overall trade imbalance with the EU significantly skews in the EU’s favor, the [European Commission’s] attempts to limit the use of names that have been considered generic for decades is a direct attack on the U.S. companies that have, in fact, helped build a market for these same products.”

IDFA offered a variety of comments and detailed examples on other trade-distorting practices by Mexico, Russia, India and Kenya, among others, and appealed to USTR and the U.S. federal government for assistance in resolving these long-standing barriers that have limited U.S. dairy’s growth and potential.


NMPF: FDA Must Enforce Fake-Dairy Rules

The National Milk Producers Federation wants the Food and Drug Administration to ensure imitation dairy product rules are properly enforced. The organization Thursday made the ask to the agency's ombudsman, citing little indication of promised action. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “The FDA’s Office of the Ombudsman must intervene to break the bureaucratic logjam.” The FDA ombudsman, based in the agency commissioner’s office, “serves as a neutral and independent resource for members of FDA-regulated industries when they experience problems with the regulatory process,” according to the agency. NMPF urges the office to take appropriate action to remedy the FDA's lax approach to enforcing its own rules on the use of dairy terms on products containing no dairy ingredients. The organization says unlawfully labeled plant-based imitation foods "poses an immediate and growing risk to public health." NMPF last year released its own road map offering solutions to how public health, product integrity and free speech could be protected through updated regulations.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 44

Raw milk shipment into Class I and Class III plants has been active across the Southwest     region as a fourth round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program has been approved by     USDA, with expected deliveries of food boxes from November 1 through December 31, 2020.     According to some industry contacts, government purchases are helping to stabilize or push     milk prices up. Meanwhile, cow’s milk output is steady to slightly up in California as the     weather has been mostly dry with lower daytime temperatures. The quality and quantity of the     dairy cattle feed is good and plentiful. Winter wheat planting is active across the Central     Valley. Raw milk fat and protein components continue improving week after week. 
In Arizona, milk production is mostly steady. Bottled milk sales are reported as higher as requests from the retail sector remain healthy. The harvesting of fair/good cotton is active is some farming areas of the state. 
In New Mexico, milk outputs are steady to slightly down. Shipments into Class I are slightly higher as eggnog production is becoming more active.
Pacific Northwest milk production is steady. Cool nights and pleasant daytime temperatures     are not creating any cow comfort issues. Farmers are managing herds to keep within     production programs. Milk intakes are easily meeting most processing needs. Manufacturers     are running facilities at or near full capacity. Bottling demand, while tricky to find the     right balance between family container sizes and single-serve institutional containers, is     steady.
Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado, is solid. Processors     are not having any trouble getting the milk needed for manufactured dairy products. Most     dairy processing facilities are running at or near full capacity with only the occasional     shutdown for planned or unplanned maintenance. A few discounted spot loads of milk remain     available in Idaho.
Western condensed skim milk volumes continue clearing into seasonal ice cream making, as     well into NDM production. Cream demand from churners is strong as butter production is     ramping up ahead of the year-end holidays’ needs. Cream demand is also seasonally strong     from Class II processors. However, cream premiums remained steady this week as cream     multiples are ranging from 1.05 to 1.28.

     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream
     Multiples Range - All Classes:               1.0500 - 1.2800


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Cheese price climb slowing

 Dairy markets had a feeding frenzy of information last week, starting with the Global Dairy Trade auction, and then the Milk Production, Cold Storage, and Slaughter reports.

The week ended with the USDA announcing that it was extending the Farmers to Families Food Box program through Dec. 31, while congressional agreement on another stimulus package had not materialized.

The Cheddar blocks closed the fourth Friday of October at $2.7725 per pound, up 5.25 cents on the week, fourth consecutive week of gain, and 64.50 cents above a year ago. Hard to believe they were in the $1 per pound range six months ago.

The barrels finished last week 25 cents higher, the sixth week of gain, hitting $2.4550 per pound, highest since July 21, and 20.50 cents above a year ago when they jumped 25 cents and were at an inverted 12.25 cents above the blocks. This year they were 31.75 cents below the blocks but the gap was narrowing.

There were only 3 sales of block last week at the CME and 11 of barrel.

Cheese was unchanged Monday and the blocks held firm Tuesday while the barrels slipped a quarter-cent Tuesday, rolling to $2.4525, first loss since Sept. 23.

Midwest cheese production rates remain steady and closer to normal, according to Dairy Market News. Cheese producers are not trying to add inventory in case buying slows or markets ebb. COVID-19 is affecting some plants, as employees are quarantining but market tones continue to show steadiness to slight bullishness.

Western cheese manufacturers are working hard to keep up with orders. Retail demand is active as stores prepare to fill holiday needs and while some contacts believe foodservice orders are slowly recovering, restaurants continue to face challenges of space and operational restrictions. Large volumes of cheese are moving to pizza and government purchases, supporting the higher prices, but have hindered export sales.

A few contacts suggest processors have even increased cheese imports to fill some processed cheese needs. Contacts are speculating what government purchases and subsequent cheese demand will look like as government buying winds down. Block inventories are tight, and to a lesser extent, so are barrel supplies, but contacts suggest stocks are increasing. Western buyers are also hesitant to take on cheese at current prices. Cheese output remains active as ample milk supplies are keeping the vats full.

Cash butter didn’t do so well last week, falling to $1.4350 per pound, 7.50 cents lower on the week and 62.5 cents below a year ago, with 13 sales reported.

The butter was up a half-cent Monday but backed down 3.25 cents Tuesday, to $1.4075.

Butter producers continue to churn steadily as cream remains available and cream suppliers are negotiating ahead of time for the week of Thanksgiving. Butter demand remains positive from retail and foodservice demand continues to edge up weekly, but it's pale in comparison to recent years. Butter markets continue with a softness, says DMN.

Western butter output is variable. Projected orders are coming in at expected levels and being satisfied. Cream supply has not been a problem and availability is ticking higher, even as seasonal competition from Class II manufacturing takes form. Export orders continue to advance butter to offshore customers, says DMN, and “The market underscores firmness as butter prices incrementally climb.”

Grade A nonfat dry milk also saw weakness, closing Friday at $1.0975 per pound, down 4.25 cents, ending 10 consecutive weeks of gain, and 5.5 cents below a year ago; 23 sales were reported for the week.

Monday’s powder was down a half-cent and it fell 1.50 cents Tuesday, to $1.0775, lowest since Sept. 22.

StoneX stated in Friday’s Early Morning Update, “U.S. nonfat dry milk is at an enormous discount to world skim milk powder prices, it is surprising to see this much weakness after only a slightly weaker GDT.”

Dry whey finished Friday at 38.50 cents per pound, down a quarter-cent on the week but 10.25 cents above a year ago, with only one sale reported on the week.

The whey inched up a half-cent, both Monday and Tuesday, hitting 39.50 per pound.

Class I up $2.84

The Agriculture Department announced the November Federal order Class I base milk price at $18.04 per hundredweight, up $2.84 from October but 10 cents below November 2019. The price equates to about $1.55 per gallon, up from $1.31 in October.

The 2020 Class I average stands at $16.64, down from $16.78 at this time a year ago and compares to $14.82 in 2018.

Butter stocks draw

Americans spread on the butter in September, likely due to restaurants recovering. The Agriculture Department’s latest Cold Storage report shows Sept. 30 butter stocks fell to 343.9 million pounds, down 27.6 million pounds or 7.4% from August, but were still a weighty 53.3 million or 18.3% above September 2019, 15th consecutive month they topped the level of a year ago.

American type cheese stocks slipped to 772.6 million pounds, down 17 million pounds or 2.2% from August, and 2.2 million pounds or 0.3% below a year ago.

The “other” cheese inventory totaled 566.9 million pounds, down 771,000 pounds or 0.1% from August, and 5.8 million pounds or 1.0% below a year ago.

The total cheese inventory slipped to 1.36 billion pounds, down 17.6 million pounds or 1.3% from August, and 13.6 million pounds or 1% below September 2019, ending five consecutive months that total cheese stocks topped the prior year level.

Culling down from 2019

Dairy cow culling jumped in September, according to the latest Livestock Slaughter report, but was below a year ago. An estimated 249,900 head were sent to slaughter under federal inspection, up 24,600 head or 10.9% from August but 5,700 or 2.2% below September 2019. A total of 2.3 million head have been culled in the first 9 months of 2020, down 115,500 head or 4.8% from 2019.

In the week ending Oct. 10, 57,200 dairy cows were sent to slaughter, down 600 from the week before, and 5,800 head or 10.1% below that week a year ago.

Fluid sales rise then fall

The Agriculture Department is still playing catch-up in reporting U.S. fluid milk sales. The latest data is from July and August. July sales hit 3.7 billion pounds, up 2.4% from July 2019, likely due to the effects of COVID-19.

Unfortunately, August sales fell to 3.66 billion pounds, down 5.8% from August 2019.

Conventional product sales totaled 3.4 billion pounds, down 6.4% from a year ago. Organic products, at 232 million pounds, were up 4.2% and represented 6.3% of total sales for the month.

Whole milk sales totaled 1.26 billion pounds, down 2.7% from a year ago. Sales for the eight-month period totaled 10.4 billion pounds, up 4.1% from 2019, and made up 34.3% of total milk sales for August and 34% thus far for the year.

Skim milk sales, at 228 million pounds, were down 17% from a year ago and were down 14.3% year to date.

Total packaged fluid milk sales, January through August, hit 30.7 billion pounds, up 0.6% from 2019. Conventional product sales so far totaled 28.8 billion pounds, down 0.1%. Organic products, at 1.1 billion pounds, were up 10.7% and represented 6.2% of total fluid milk sales so far for the year.

The figures represent consumption of fluid milk products in Federal milk order marketing areas and California, which account for approximately 92% of total fluid milk sales in the U.S.


From: Capital Press

Monday, October 26, 2020

Stabenow Leads Opposition Against USDA Decision on Dairy Aid

Senate Ag Committee Member Debbie Stabenow is leading a group of 15 senators asking Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to reverse a decision that excluded dairy farmers from getting coronavirus aid for losses from meat produced from breeding animals. The Hagstrom Report says the senators point out that losses from meat produced from breeding animals were included in the first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, but not in the second, which is known as CFAP 2. “This change will affect the livestock industry and will be particularly harmful to dairy farmers, who often operate at extremely tight margins,” the senators wrote in the letter. “The decision is even more troubling considering that USDA clearly has sufficient resources to cover these losses.” Additionally, they say the move would avoid confusing farmers. “It will be less complicated for both USDA and livestock farmers to cover all livestock and avoid confusion about what animals are covered or excluded,” they add. The senators say dairy farmers were struggling with prolonged market uncertainty, unfair trade practices, and the Administration’s “chaotic trade policies” long before COVID-19 hit. Considering the industry’s tight margins, the decision to exclude dairy farm losses related to meat production will be a significant blow.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 43


In California, farm milk production had plateaued as the climate has been atypically warmer     for cows. However, nighttime is longer and temperatures supportive of cow recovery. As noted     by some contacts, the fat and protein components in the milk continue steadily improving.     Some cheese processors are helping to clear heavy milk intakes, operating at full capacity.     Milk shipments into Class I are higher, driven by hearty demands from the retail sector. 
In Arizona farm milk outputs are steady from last week. With schools opening full time, Class I sales are ramping up. Large volumes of milk are moving into Class III encouraged by    government purchases and a hearty demand from pizzerias. In New Mexico, milk production is     slightly up. Ample milk supplies are keeping balancing plants running at or near full     capacity. Milk requests from bottlers are slightly higher as eggnog production is more     active at this time of the year.
Milk production in the Pacific Northwest is steady to lower as the region nears the cyclical     low point for the year. However, manufacturers report having no issues getting the milk    needed for processing. Cooler weather has issued into the region, but this has had little to     no impact on cow comfort. Bottling demand remains relatively steady. 
In the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado, milk production is strong. According to the NASS Milk Production Report issued earlier this week, September milk production increased by 7.8 percent in Colorado and 2.9 percent in Idaho from last year. In both cases, cow numbers and milk production per cow have increased. Manufacturers are running facilities at or near full capacity. Some processors report being able to get spot loads of milk for $4 under Class IV. Fires are still an issue in Colorado, threatening some farms and forage supplies. Snow and colder temperatures are forecasted for the weekend, which should greatly help contain the fires. 
Throughout the west region, large volumes of condensed skim milk continue clearing into seasonal ice cream making, as well into dryers. 
Seasonal competition for western cream between butter churners and Class II processors is taking shape. This week, cream multiples are steady to slightly up, ranging from 1.05 to 1.28.

     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream
     Multiples Range - All Classes:               1.0500 - 1.2800

     Information for the period October 19 - 23, 2020, issued weekly

     Secondary Sourced Information:

The NASS Milk Production report noted September 2020 milk production in the 24 selected     states was 17.2 billion pounds, 2.4 percent higher from a year ago. Milk cows in the 24     selected states totaled 8.85 million head, 46,000 head more than a year ago. The following     table shows western states included in the report and the monthly milk production changes     compared to a year ago:

     August 2020 Milk Production, (USDA-NASS)

                   (Million Lb.)   % Change From
                                     1 Year Ago

     Arizona           350            - 2.2
     California      3,313            + 3.2
     Colorado          430            + 7.8
     Idaho           1,335            + 2.9
     New Mexico        662            - 0.9
     Oregon            208            - 1.4
     Utah              183            - 2.1
     Washington        557            - 1.1


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

September milk production up 2.3%

U.S. milk production continues to rev higher. Preliminary data in the September Milk Production report shows output at 18.0 billion pounds, up a bearish 2.3% from September 2019, the biggest increase since March.

Output in the top 24 producing states totaled 17.2 billion pounds, up 2.4% from 2019. Revisions lowered the original August 50-state total 5 million pounds. However, the 24 state total was revised up 1 million, now put at 17.8 billion, up 1.9% from August 2019.

Third quarter output totaled 55.3 billion pounds, up 2.0% from a year ago. Cow numbers averaged 9.36 million head in the quarter, up 39,000 from the same period last year.

September cow numbers totaled 9.366 million head in the 50 states, up 5,000 from August and 33,000 above a year ago. Output per cow averaged 1,923 pounds, up 38 pounds from a year ago, or 2.0%.

California’s September output was up 3.2% from a year ago, thanks to a 65-pound gain per cow offsetting 4,000 fewer cows milked. Wisconsin was up 0.7%, despite 10,000 fewer cows. Output per cow was up 30 pounds.

Idaho was up 2.9%, thanks to 15,000 more cows and 10 pounds more per cow. Michigan was up 2.3%, on a 50-pound gain per cow. Minnesota was up 2.7%, thanks to a 70-pound gain per cow offsetting 5,000 fewer cows. New Mexico was off 0.9%, on a 5-pound drop per cow and 2,000 fewer cows milked.

New York was up 1.4%, thanks to a 30-pound gain per cow but had 1,000 fewer cows. Oregon was down 1.4%, on 1,000 fewer cows and a 10-pound loss per cow. Pennsylvania was up 1.9%, thanks to a 40-pound gain per cow offsetting a loss of 3,000 cows from a year ago.

South Dakota again showed the biggest increase, up 12.3%, thanks to 13,000 more cows milked and 35 pounds more per cow. Texas was up 6.5%, on 28,000 more cows and a 30 pound gain per cow. Vermont reported the biggest drop, down 5.5% on a 25-pound loss per cow and 5,000 fewer cows.

Washington state was down 1.1%, due to a 10-pound loss per cow and 2,000 fewer cows.

Gap narrowing

CME block Cheddar closed Columbus Day Week at $2.72 per pound, up 7.25 cents on the week and 75.25 cents above a year ago.

The barrels kept trying to close the price gap and saw their Friday close at $2.2050, up 15 cents, following a 10-cent jump last week and 29.5 cents the week before last, and are 20.50 cents above a year ago. The spread slipped to 51.5 cents. There were only 4 cars of block that exchanged hands last week at the market of last resort and 2 of barrel.

Monday’s trading took the blocks up 2 cents and stayed there Tuesday at $2.74 per pound, highest since July 15, as traders awaited the afternoon’s September Milk Production report and Thursday’s Cold Storage data.

The barrels gained a nickel Monday and were up 4.50 cents Tuesday, hitting $2.30 per pound, highest since July 30, and a still too high 44 cents below the blocks.

Lots of eyes are on cheese prices but, in the not very distant future lies the end of the government’s Food Box program and, as the Dairy and Food Market Analyst warned, “Hundreds of million pounds of milk per month will be searching for a home.”

The program could be extended to Round 4, but won’t likely be funded as much and, with the higher dairy product price, won’t buy as much.

Other clouds on the horizon include the rise in U.S. COVID-19 cases and what impact that might have on recovering restaurant purchases of dairy products. Another cloud is the likely failure of Congress to agree on another stimulus package before the election.

DFMA editor and analyst, Matt Gould, talked about dairy’s latest commercial disappearance data in view of current high dairy prices in Monday’s "Dairy Radio Now" broadcast.

He pointed out that the data looks backward from present reality and the latest data is from August, when butter disappearance was down about 9.5%, which followed a 3.6% fall the month before. American type cheese disappearance was down 3.3%, according to Gould, “So if you looked at current price movements you’d be saying demand must be flying off the charts.” It likely is right now, he said, but when you look back at the end of summer when kids were not going back to college, etc., demand was anything but normal.

As to the near all-time record high cheese prices we are seeing, Gould says you can’t ignore the government’s intervention in the marketplace in the form of the Food Box Program. He said that people do not fully appreciate how much Uncle Sam has been buying through that program, a figure he calculates at about 4% of the U.S. milk supply. And when it comes to cheese specifically, he believes that percentage is closer to 7% or 8% or even more, of all the cheese made in the U.S.

Retail sales are not the biggest demand driver of dairy products, according to Gould, prompting the question: If the Food Box Program is not renewed after Oct. 31, will holiday demand step in to make up the difference? Gould says no one has the answer but “that would be a tall order.”

Cheese producers continue to report busy schedules, according to Dairy Market News. Mid-week spot milk prices remained similar to the previous week's prices, but the potential was there for offers under class, says DMN.

Demand for some producers has been a little quieter as cheese prices pushed higher, leaving some customers on the sidelines, according to DMN. That said, however, contacts suggest that “regardless of market prices, buyers will return out of necessity as pipelines dwindle.”

Western cheese manufacturers are running facilities at or above design capacity, as milk is plentiful. Demand is active with consistent pulls from retail and the Food Box program. Pizza cheese demand is solid but most foodservice and specialty cheese accounts are weaker than previous years.

Butter strengthened last week, closing 9.75 cents higher, at $1.51 per pound, but was 60.50 cents below a year ago; 21 cars were sold on the week.

Monday’s butter lost 1.25 cents and stayed put Tuesday at $1.4975 per pound, with no activity.

Butter schedules are busier, says DMN. Cream is still available, especially for those looking for it from the West and or those using internally sourced supplies. Expectations of cream shortages were short-lived or have yet to happen. Retail customers are busy but food service continues its slow incline week after week.

Western retail butter demand is fueling both active ordering and lingering nervousness from those concerning yearend availability. Some retailers project a 20% jump in holiday sales and weekly features.

Grade A nonfat dry milk jockeyed some but closed Friday at $1.14 per pound, up 1.50 cents on the week but 3 cents below a year ago, with 22 carloads finding new homes on the week.

The powder was unchanged Monday but gave up 1.25 cents Tuesday, slipping to $1.1275 per pound.

Global powder demand has been strong, says StoneX, and “has kept domestic supplies in check but with exports lower than expected and a COVID demand story that still brings uncertainty, it seems like NFDM could have some limited upside.”

Dry whey saw little movement last week, closing at 38.75 cents per pound, 0.75 cents lower, but 10.25 cents above a year ago, with 2 sales on the week.

CME dry whey was unchanged Monday and Tuesday.

GDT inches higher

Butter and cheese nudged this week’s Global Dairy Trade auction weighted average up 0.4%, following the 2.2% advance on Oct. 6, and 3.6% on Sept. 15. Sellers brought 76.4 million pounds of product to the market, down from 77.4 million on Oct. 6.

GDT butter was up 3.3%, following the 8.4% gain on Oct. 6, however, anhydrous milkfat was down 0.5% Tuesday, after climbing 5.4% in the last event. Cheddar was up 3.0%, after inching 0.4% higher, and whole milk powder crept up 0.3%, after a 1.7% rise last time.

Lactose again led the losses, down 8.0% after dropping 7.4% last time, and skim milk powder was off 0.2%, after slipping 0.9% lower last time.

StoneX Group equated the GDT 80% butterfat butter price to $1.6277 per pound U.S., up 5.2 cents from the last event. CME butter closed Tuesday at a bargain $1.4975. GDT Cheddar cheese equated to $1.7249 per pound, up 4.9 cents, and compares to Tuesday’s CME block Cheddar at globally high $2.74.

GDT skim milk powder averaged $1.2933 per pound, down from $1.2996, and whole milk powder averaged $1.3776, down from $1.3796. CME Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at $1.1275 per pound.


From: Capital Press

September Milk Production up 2.4 Percent

September Milk Production up 2.4 Percent 

Milk production in the 24 major States during September totaled 17.2 billion pounds, up 2.4 percent from September 2019. August revised production, at 17.8 billion pounds, was up 1.9 percent from August 2019. The August revision represented an increase of 1 million pounds or less than 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate. 

Production per cow in the 24 major States averaged 1,944 pounds for September, 36 pounds above September 2019. 

The number of milk cows on farms in the 24 major States was 8.85 million head, 46,000 head more than September 2019, and 6,000 head more than August 2020. 

July-September Milk Production up 2.0 Percent 

Milk production in the United States during the July - September quarter totaled 55.3 billion pounds, up 2.0 percent from the July - September quarter last year. 

The average number of milk cows in the United States during the quarter was 9.36 million head, 1,000 head less than the April - June quarter, but 39,000 head more than the same period last year.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 42

Farm milk production is steadily increasing in California. Milk intakes are more than enough to meet most dairy processing needs. In fact, due to the improved demand for cheese, some Class III processors are operating their facilities at full capacity, which has helped balance substantial volumes of raw milk. Meanwhile, milk shipments into Class I are generally steady, with some sporadic bottlers’ requests for seasonal eggnog production.

In Arizona, farm milk production is constantly improving, as dairy cows have cooler temperatures and longer nights to recover. The butterfat and protein components in the milk continue improving every week. Class I sales have become more active as more schools continue to open full time.

In New Mexico, farm milk yields are steady to up. With the slow but steady reopening of food service and the help from the government food box program, milk sales into cheese processing continue to be strong.

Pacific Northwest milk production is steady. Manufacturers are getting as much milk as they need for processing. Mild temperatures are present, creating favorable cow comfort conditions. Retail and institutional bottling demand varies slightly week to week, but overall bottling demand is stable.

Solid milk production continues in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. Processors report having plenty of milk for most manufacturing needs. In Idaho, some discounted spot milk loads are still available. Farmers have not had any major weather concerns that may affect milk production, but several major fires are degrading air quality in Northern Colorado dairy areas.

Across the west region, condensed skim milk volumes are readily available for seasonal ice cream processing, as well as for NDM production.

For some processors throughout the region, the obtainability of cream supplies ranges from relatively affordable to tight. Nevertheless, regional butter making remains very active as several churners are running operations at full capacity. Cream multiples for all Classes are steady from last week.


     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream

     Multiples Range - All Classes:               1.0500 - 1.2600

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

NMPF: All Dairy Farmers Should Sign Up for DMC

The National Milk Producers Federation urges all dairy farmers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. Enrollment in the program administered by the Department of Agriculture opened Tuesday. NMPF cites the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the expectation of volatile dairy margins in the next year, in the need for DMC protection. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Coronavirus-related volatility in dairy markets is expected to continue well into 2021, with DMC payments a possibility.” DMC, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 farm bill, is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe on some or all of a farmer’s milk. Despite forecasts in late 2019 predicting that DMC assistance would not be needed by farmers in 2020, margins instead fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade in the first half of this year, triggering payments that kept many dairies afloat. NMPF says DMC coverage offers certainty in times of need, allowing for better financial planning and faster payment when necessary.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Cheese prices climb higher

 Cash block Cheddar cheese marched to $2.65 per pound last Tuesday but eased back Thursday, and closed Friday at $2.6475, up 3.75 cents on the week and 54.75 cents above a year ago.

The barrels closed at $2.0550, 10 cents higher on the week, after jumping 29.50 cents last week, 3.25 cents above a year ago. Seven cars of each traded hands last week at the CME.

The blocks jumped 4.50 cents Monday on an unfilled bid, and added 2.50 cents Tuesday on a trade to hit $2.7175, highest since July 15.

The barrels were up 5.50 cents Monday and gained 3 cents Tuesday, hitting $2.14, highest since July 31, but an unsustainable 57.75 cents below the blocks.

Midwest cheese demand reports were mostly positive last week, according to Dairy Market News. Customers are hesitant in light of current prices, but producers are confident customers will open the coffers soon, as supplies get low.

Western cheesemakers report lingering effects of selling forward into export markets last spring. Manufacturers are getting requests from buyers, looking for available cheese. Some are trying to fill commitments to government buying but “processors don’t have much wiggle room to supply extra loads of cheese.” Demand from export buyers has cooled due to the higher U.S. prices but that has not freed up cheese needed by all shoppers.

HighGround Dairy’s Oct. 5 "Morning Huddle" stated that its analysis of the government Food Box program shows that “Round Three purchases could absorb as much as 4-5% of U.S. milk production over a two-month period. The box includes 1 gallon of milk and 5 to 6 pounds of other dairy products, including cheese,” says HGD. “327,299 boxes have been invoiced in Round Three so far, but nearly 19 million have conditional approval.

“Longer term, bearish signals remain, but the timing is uncertain,” warned HGD. “Once government-induced food box buying is complete, cheese prices could move sharply lower. Stronger milk supply, questionable foodservice demand as outdoor dining becomes difficult in cold weather states, lack of consensus on a new stimulus bill to keep unemployed Americans spending money, and a large block plant in Michigan beginning production will converge to reduce prices.”

Spot butter fell to $1.3950 per pound last Thursday, lowest since May 12 and the lowest butter price in the world, but it finished Friday at $1.4125, down 9.75 cents on the week and 68.25 cents below a year ago; 38 cars found new homes last week.

The butter inched up a quarter-cent Monday and shot up 6 cents Tuesday, reaching $1.4750.

DMN says butter demand continues to edge up seasonally at retail. Food service demand has pushed higher week to week but is still below a year ago. Bulk butter demand is a little busier. Cream is less available but market tones remain “somewhat deflated,” says DMN.

Uneasiness in cities in the West, coupled with the effects of COVID continues to negatively impact dine-in restaurant sales and therefore butter demand. Fast food intakes are stable to trending up. Retail demand was unchanged from the previous week but, as the year-end holidays approach, manufacturers are reviewing their processing capacities and preparing for the hoped for seasonal demand increase.

Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at $1.1250, up a quarter-cent on the week but 4 cents below a year ago, on 47 cars sold on the week, highest weekly total since mid-March.

The powder added a half-cent Monday and gained 0.75 cents Tuesday, shimmying up to $1.1375, highest since Sept. 30.

U.S. milk powder remains an attractive bargain for foreign buyers, according to the Daily Dairy Report’s Sarina Sharp. Writing in the Oct. 2 Milk Producers Council newsletter, Sharp says “the U.S. accounted for more than 10% of China’s skim milk powder imports in August, its third straight month with a relatively strong showing in a market that is often dominated by Oceania and Europe. Mexican buyers are stepping up purchases, too,” says Sharp.

Dry whey finished last week at 39.50 cents per pound, up a half-cent and 9.25 cents above a year ago, on three sales for the week at the CME.

The whey was unchanged Monday but backed down a quarter-cent Tuesday to 39.25 cents per pound.

More milk ahead

The Agriculture Department again raised its 2020 and 2021 milk production forecast from last month’s estimate in the latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report. The department cited slightly higher cow numbers and a more rapid pace of growth in milk per cow for 2020 and raised the 2021 projection due to a larger dairy herd and higher milk per cow.

2020 production and marketings were estimated at 222.3 billion and 221.3 billion pounds, respectively, up 300 million pounds on both from their September estimate. If realized, 2020 production would be up 3.9 billion pounds or 1.8% from 2019.

2021 production and marketings were estimated at 225.5 billion and 224.5 billion pounds, respectively, up 100 million pounds on both. If realized, 2021 production would be up 3.2 billion pounds or 1.4% from 2020.

The Class III milk price forecast was raised, based on a higher cheese price forecast. The Class III is expected to average around $18.00 per hundredweight, up 75 cents from last month’s estimate and compares to $16.96 in 2019 and $14.61 in 2018. The 2021 average was projected at $17, up $1.00 from last month’s estimate.

The Class IV forecast was raised on a higher expected nonfat dry milk price more than offsetting a lower expected butter price. The Class IV will average around $13.50, up a dime from last month’s projection and compares to a $16.30 average in 2019 and $14.23 in 2018. The 2021 average was projected at $14.10, up 50 cents from a month ago.

Costs climbing

The annual Milk Cost of Production report, issued Oct. 1, showed total feed costs averaged $10.59 per cwt., up 63 cents or 6.3% from 2018. Purchased feed, at $7.20 per cwt., was up 44 cents or 6.5% from 2018. Total operating costs, including feed, bedding, marketing, fuel, electricity and repairs, averaged $13.92 per cwt., up 71 cents or 5.4% from 2018. Feed costs made up 76.1% of total costs in 2019, up from 75.4% in 2018.

Looking at present conditions, the Oct. 2 Dairy and Food Market Analyst reported that “Farm-level margins are holding up. Average revenue over feed cost totaled $10.97 per cwt. in the USA during August, up 92 cents per cwt. year over year,” but warned: “When average margins are above $8.00 per cwt. for six months or more, it has historically triggered expansions. Margins have exceeded that level since June after falling to a low of $5.59 per cwt in May. Keep in mind, these calculations do not include government payments, which have totaled an additional dollar per hundredweight or more this year.”

The DFMA added: “We are still hearing reports of cooperatives moving to make milk supply management programs permanent, particularly in the West.”

Regional differences remain dramatic, according to the DFMA. “Revenue-over-feed-cost in Arizona was the lowest in the country, at $8.14 per cwt. during August, according to our estimates. New Mexico was close behind at $8.18. In comparison, cheese-heavy South Dakota had the highest revenue-over-feed cost during August, estimated at $14.08, which was above Florida’s at $13.93.”

Referencing the COP report, the DFMA says “California was the lowest-cost-of-production state in 2019. Total operating costs, including feed, labor, and taxes hit $14.85 per cwt. Wisconsin was second at $15.26, and Ohio was third at $15.60. The highest-cost-of-production states in the report were Maine at $22.53; Vermont, at $21.05; and Illinois at $20.41,” according to the DFMA.

From: Capital Press

U.S. Dairy Advances Journey to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Monday unveiled the Net Zero Initiative. The industry-wide effort will help U.S. dairy farms of all sizes and geographies implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices. The initiative is a critical component of U.S. dairy’s environmental stewardship goals. The plan is endorsed by dairy industry leaders and farmers to achieve carbon neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality by 2050. The organization also announced a key milestone on its journey toward carbon neutrality, an up to $10 million commitment and multi-year partnership with NestlĂ© to support the initiative and scale access to environmental practices and resources on U.S. farms. The goals include becoming carbon neutral or better, optimize water use while maximizing recycling, and improve water quality by optimizing utilization of manure and nutrients. Officials say dairy companies and farms are already contributing to the goals in individual ways, and the dairy community will continue those efforts through the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 41

Bottled milk sales are steady in California. Class II demands are unchanged to declining.     Milk yield is stable compared to a week ago. Loads are enough to meet the needs of     contractual buyers, but they are less accessible to spot buyers. Manufacturing machines are     being run a bit below full capacity. Milk production in Arizona is stable, aided by weather     outcomes that are favorable for cows' well-being. Class I sales have picked up because many     schools have reopened full time this week. Milk outputs are well balanced with demands.     Handlers report there are few movements of milk across state line. Processing plants are     being run close to full capacities. 
In New Mexico, as Class I, II and III milk demands jumped up, balancing needs moved in the opposite direction. Milk orders are at seasonal levels for this time of the year. Milk production is stable to a bit up. Aside from the fact that holdovers were a bit up at the beginning of the week, there are no issues with milk transportation and processing. 
Milk production in the Pacific Northwest is steady. Manufacturers report that milk intakes are in good balance with processing needs. Farmers and milk handlers in the region have worked throughout the year to control milk supplies. Total bottling demand is steady, but the make-up is variable, vacillating between retail and institutional needs. 
Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado is solid. Favorable weather is supporting strong milk output. Manufacturers have plenty of milk for most processing needs. Some processors have topped off their processing facilities with the few available discounted milk loads and are running at or near full capacity. Discount milk load prices are the typical $4 under Class IV. 
Condensed skim is available to meet purchasers' day to day needs in the West. Ice cream and nonfat dry milk producers are taking consistent loads. 
In the West, cream supplies are mixed. While some processors have more cream than usual for this time of the year, others report barely having enough to cover immediate needs. Ice cream processors are taking less cream this week, whereas butter makers have increased their churning activities. Cream multiples for all Classes are steady.

     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream
     Multiples Range - All Classes:               1.0500 - 1.2600

     Information for the period October 5 - 9, 2020, issued weekly

     Secondary Sourced Information:

     Released October 5, 2020, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS),
     Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

     Ice Cream, Regular (Hard) Production – States and United States: August 2019 and 2020
                                   Monthly Production (1000 Gallons)    Percent Change from
     Total Cream, Regular (Hard)         AUG      JUL       AUG            AUG      JUL
     Region                             2019     2020      2020           2019     2020
     United States                    64,242   71,669    69,145            7.6     -3.5

     Atlantic                         14,812   15,692    16,491           11.3      5.1
       Pennsylvania                    3,650    3,860     4,048           10.9      4.9

     Central                          37,462   42,811    41,039            9.5     -4.1
       Missouri                        3,179    2,760     3,123           -1.8     13.2
       Ohio                            2,613    2,898     2,803            7.3     -3.3

     West                             11,968   13,166    11,615           -2.9    -11.8
       California                      6,753    6,929     6,296           -6.8     -9.1
       Oregon                          1,211    1,697     1,390           14.8    -18.1
       Utah                            1,682    2,237     1,922           14.3    -14.1

     Ice Cream, Regular (Hard) – Cumulative Production: January - August

                                Cumulative Production  Percent Change
                                        (1000 Gallons)      from
     Report Month                       2019     2020       2019
     August                          498,493  508,154        1.9

USDA, FDA sign MOU to support dairy exports

MOU outlines how agencies will collaborate to ensure dairy export markets remain open when new foreign requirements arise

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will enable the agencies to take a concerted, modern approach to support the export of U.S. milk and milk products worldwide.

The U.S. exports $6 billion worth of milk and milk products annually. In their respective roles of food safety, marketing and trade facilitation, FDA and USDA have complementary programs to support the exportation of these domestic products. Increasingly, U.S. dairy exporters face challenges in the global marketplace from trade partners requiring additional information and assurances. This has resulted in the need for an increased level of coordination by regulators to help address requests and to facilitate the trade of safe and wholesome products from the U.S.

This MOU outlines an effective and efficient framework to leverage the collective strengths of FDA and USDA.

FDA is responsible for ensuring that milk and milk products are safe and wholesome, as labeled through enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. This is accomplished, in part, by inspecting the production, processing and distribution of foods and examining samples to ensure compliance with FDA’s statutory requirements. In addition, the agency engages with international regulators and stakeholders regarding the safety of U.S. milk and milk products. FDA will continue in its role as the competent authority, engaging directly with foreign authorities, as needed, on food safety matters and providing oversight to more than 6,000 firms that produce dairy products.

USDA, through its dairy grading service, is the lead agency on issuing dairy sanitary certificates, coordinating interagency collaboration related to U.S. exports of milk and milk products and negotiating with foreign countries on certifications to meet their import requirements.

Through this MOU, FDA and USDA said they remain committed to facilitating the efficient exporting of milk and milk products.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) worked with both agencies to advance this new approach to dairy export collaboration and welcomed the MOU.

“Today’s announcement of an interagency MOU on dairy trade between USDA and FDA is the result of years of conversation and efforts between stakeholders within the U.S. dairy industry and the U.S. government to establish consistent guidance on tackling the rising number of export challenges facing our industry. This MOU will help our industry continue to grow in an increasingly competitive global environment,” USDEC president and chief executive officer Tom Vilsack said.

NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern added, “This new partnership ensures that the staff at USDA and FDA are working together in the most efficient way possible to lower barriers for our farmer’s dairy exports. Increasing U.S. dairy exports will strengthen the health of our farmers and rural communities, which is more important than ever as America’s dairy industry faces new and unprecedented challenges. We appreciate all of the hard work from both agencies and stand ready to support the USDA and FDA’s commitment to open new doors for U.S. dairy exports.”

International Dairy Foods Assn. (IDFA) president and CEO Dr. Michael Dykes said about the MOU: “IDFA has been a tireless advocate for this kind of federal agency efficiency and cooperation, and seeing this collaborative effort come to fruition to support U.S. dairy exports is a tremendous accomplishment and a huge value add for the dairy industry. IDFA appreciates the efforts of USDA and FDA to finalize this MOU and facilitate our industry’s global growth.”

Beyond individual agency responsibilities, the MOU outlines how the agencies will communicate and collaborate to ensure that dairy export markets remain open when new foreign requirements arise requiring the U.S. government’s response, such as recently implemented or revised certificates in China or Taiwan. The MOU also provides a published reference of each agency’s involvement in the export of U.S. dairy products, which will help address questions from foreign governments that previously may not have understood that more than one U.S. agency is involved in dairy exports.

“In recent years, more and more countries have erected obstacles and barriers to U.S. dairy exports, including increasingly complex requirements for statements, certificates, questionnaires and facility listings,” Dykes said. “While the U.S. government opposes overly burdensome requirements on behalf of U.S. food and agricultural exporters, U.S. officials are barraged with an influx of requests from foreign governments that make it increasingly difficult for all U.S. parties. This MOU keeps our dairy industry and U.S. government a step ahead, positioning U.S. dairy for growth by streamlining roles and resources already in place.”

The U.S. exported $5.9 billion in dairy products in 2019 -- one of the strongest years on record for dairy exports.

The MOU is effective immediately and can be reviewed here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Benchmark milk price falls, again

The Federal order benchmark milk price fell for the second month in a row. The Agriculture Department announced the September Class III price at $16.43 per hundredweight, down $3.34 from August and $1.88 below September 2019. The 2020 Class III average stands at $17.48, up from $16.11 a year ago and $14.62 in 2018.

However, Monday’s futures settlements portended an October price at $20.63, November at $19.71 and December at $17.86.

The Class IV price is $12.75, up 22 cents from August but $3.60 below a year ago. That is the lowest September Class IV price since 2009. Its 2020 average stands at $13.53, down from $16.21 a year ago and $13.95 in 2018.

GDT up 2.2%

Dairy fat propelled this week’s Global Dairy Trade auction’s (GDT) weighted average up 2.2%, following the 3.6% boost on Sept. 15.

Buttermilk powder led the gains, up 9.1%, after not trading in the previous event. Butter followed with an 8.4% rise, after falling 1.4%, and anhydrous milkfat was up 5.4%, after a 2.0% gain last time. Whole milk powder was up 1.7%, after gaining 3.2%, and GDT Cheddar was up 0.4%, following a 7.2% rise last time.

Lactose led the losses, down 7.4%, after a 2.7% decline, and skim milk powder inched 0.9% lower, after shooting up 8.4% on Sept. 15.

StoneX Group equated the GDT 80% butterfat butter price to $1.5758 per pound U.S., up 12.3 cents from the last event. CME butter closed Tuesday at $1.4725. GDT Cheddar cheese equated to $1.6755 per pound, up fractionally, and compares to Tuesday’s CME block Cheddar at a pricey $2.65. GDT skim milk powder averaged $1.2996 per pound U.S., down from $1.3104, and whole milk powder averaged $1.3796 U.S., up from $1.3540. CME Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Tuesday at $1.13 per pound.

Cheese climbing

The markets took a jolt last week on news that President Trump had contracted the COVID-19 virus. Enemies and supporters alike waited with bated breath for updated information but fears were soon relieved by videos, texts and even an appearance by the president before supporters who had gathered at Walter Reed Medical Center where he was being treated.

Dairy markets pretty much ignored the political theater. CME block Cheddar closed the first Friday of October at $2.61 per pound, up 5.50 cents on the week, after dipping 7.25 cents the previous week, and were 61.75 cents above a year ago.

The barrels finished Friday at $1.9550 after jumping an exciting 29.50 cents on the week and 16.50 cents above a year ago. Nine cars of block sold last week at the CME and 12 of barrel.

Monday’s trading took the blocks up 2.75 cents and they added 1.25 cents Tuesday, hitting $2.65, the highest since July 21.

The barrels were up 3.50 cents Monday and an unfilled bid added the penny it needed Tuesday to hit $2 per pound, the highest they have been since Aug. 3. That put the spread at 65 cents.

Cheese sales are mixed but generally healthy, according to Dairy Market News. Some cheesemakers say the higher prices are creating buying hesitancy but, when inventories get low, buyers order heavily.

The western market is struggling to maintain a good balance. Overall sales are good but the market still faces uncertainties related to the pandemic and its impact on customers and sellers' behaviors. Block inventories are tighter than the barrels and that has translated into higher block prices. Government purchases are impacting prices and availability, according to contacts, and U.S. prices are not as competitive internationally as they were a few weeks ago.

Cash butter saw little change last week, inching up 0.75 cents to a $1.51 per pound close Friday, 67.50 cents below a year ago, on 10 sales for the week.

The butter gave up 3 cents Monday and lost 0.75 cents Tuesday, melting down to $1.4725, lowest since Sept. 1.

Butter production remains steady at Midwestern plants. Cream supplies have begun to tighten in the East but regional butter makers are still finding it locally or from the West. Plant managers expect cream to tighten in the near term. Retail and foodservice demand is stronger week to week. Retail customers, in some cases, have been given notice that butter quarters may be short in the final quarter of the year.

Western retail butter demand is showing signs of a seasonal bump and buyers are asking manufacturers about available supplies. Grocers have let processors know they plan to run in-store specials and want to make sure of coverage.

Grade A nonfat dry milk shot up to $1.14 per pound last Wednesday, highest since February 21, but closed Friday at $1.1225, up 2.25 cents on the week and the eighth consecutive week of gain, but was 2.25 cents below a year ago, on 21 sales.

The powder was up 0.75 cents Monday and stayed put Tuesday at $1.13, with 20 cars exchanging hands.

Dry whey finished Friday at 39 cents per pound, 1.25 cents higher on the week on unfilled bids, and 6.25 cents above a year ago.

Monday’s whey added 0.75 cents but it inched back 0.25 cents Tuesday, to 39.50 cents per pound.

Butter output up

You’ll recall August milk production totaled 18.6 billion pounds, up 1.8% from August 2019. The August Dairy Products report shows where that milk went.

Total cheese output fell to 1.09 billion pounds, down 1.6% from July, and 2.1% below August 2019. Year-to-date output, at 8.7 billion pounds, is up 0.4% from a year ago.

Wisconsin produced 277.6 million pounds of the total, down 0.4% from July and 1.2% below a year ago. California output, at 193.0 million pounds, was down 4.6% from July and 9.2% below a year ago. Idaho contributed 81.4 million pounds, down 9.1% from July and 7.9% below a year ago.

Italian type cheese totaled 448.5 million pounds, down 1.2% from July and 3.9% below a year ago. YTD output is at 3.7 billion pounds, down 0.7%.

American type cheese totaled 446.0 million pounds, down 1.9% from July and 1.3% below a year ago. YTD American was at 3.5 billion pounds, up 1.4%.

Mozzarella output slipped to 354.2 million pounds, down 4.4% from a year ago, with YTD at 2.95 billion pounds, down 0.7% from 2019.

Cheddar, the cheese traded at the CME, slipped to 322.9 million pounds, down 1.1 million pounds or 0.3% from July but 1.7 million or 0.5% above August 2019. Year-to-date Cheddar stood at 2.5 billion pounds, up 1.6% from a year ago.

Butter churns spit out 152.3 million pounds, down 2.6 million or 1.6% from July’s total, which was revised 3.1 million pounds higher, but was 11 million pounds or 7.8% above a year ago. YTD butter is at 1.4 billion pounds, up 6.6% from 2019.

Dry whey totaled 80.3 million pounds, down 5.3% from July and 5.4% below a year ago, with YTD at 657.2 million pounds, up 2.5%. Dry whey stocks inched up to 85.8 million pounds, up 1.5% from July and a hefty 18.2% above a year ago.

Nonfat dry milk output fell to 144.2 million pounds, down 19 million pounds or 11.7% from July but 11.7 million or 8.8% above a year ago. YTD powder sits at 1.3 billion pounds, up 1.5% from 2019. Stocks slipped to 270.6 million pounds, down 40.7 million pounds or 13.1% from July and were 1 million pounds or 0.4% above 2019.

Skim milk powder output climbed to 59.6 million pounds, up 8.4 million pounds or 16.3% from July but was 1.2 million pounds or 2.0% below a year ago. YTD skim milk powder hit 378.9 million pounds, up 8.0% from a year ago.

Milk ratio dips

A large drop in the All Milk price and a higher soybean price served to lower the August milk feed price ratio, reversing two months of gain. The USDA’s Ag Prices report showed the ratio slipped to 2.50, down from 2.69 in July, but compares to 2.26 in August 2019.

The index is based on the current milk price in relationship to feed prices for a dairy ration consisting of 51% corn, 8% soybeans and 41% alfalfa hay. One pound of milk could purchase 2.50 pounds of dairy feed of that blend in August.

The U.S. All-Milk price averaged $18.80 per hundredweight, down $1.70 from July and 10 cents below August 2019.

California’s All Milk price slipped to $20.00, down 90 cents from July but $1.30 above a year ago. Wisconsin’s, at $19.40, was down $2.90 from July but was 30 cents above a year ago.

The national average corn price averaged $3.12 per bushel, down 9 cents per bushel from July and 81 cents per bushel below August 2019. Soybeans averaged $8.66 per bushel, up 16 cents from July, after jumping 17 cents the previous month, and were 44 cents per bushel above a year ago. Alfalfa hay averaged $172 per ton, down $2 from July and $7 per ton below a year ago.

Looking at the cow side of the ledger; the August cull price for beef and dairy combined averaged $70.70 per cwt., up 20 cents from July, $2.40 above August 2019, but was 90 cents below the 2011 base average of $71.60 per cwt.

From: Capital Press

March Milk Production up 2.0 Percent, Jan- March Up 1.0 Percent

March Milk Production up 2.0 Percent  Milk production in the 24 major States during March totaled 18.8 billion pounds, up 2.0 percent from M...