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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thursday Closing Dairy Market Update - 2020 Leaves Its Mark on the Market

MILK

Milk futures moved lower Thursday, uninspired by small improvements to the spot cheese prices. Front-month January has declined the past five days, now trading $1.69 below February. The market continues to move lower despite a bit more positivity in the spot cheese trade, getting in line with the underlying cash values. More schools, universities and office settings have planned to reopen in the new year. With more flexibility considered for scheduling going forward, the consumption gains seen from the work/school at home environment could be extended, possibly becoming the new normal. Monthly Class III announced prices for 2020 differed by over $12, with May at $12.14 and June settled at $24.54.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $16.93
6 Month: $17.14
9 Month: $17.23
12 Month: $17.22

CHEESE

Cheese plants will be looking to move back to full production after the holidays. There has been no lack of fluid milk for processing as production and cattle numbers remain high. Some cheese makers have stated they will be focusing production on cheese types needing to be aged, keeping inventory high. Production may also be suiting up for export, as early spring has typically seen the most cheese exports by volume.

BUTTER

Heavy cream is available in all regions and churning continues to remain steady factoring in the holiday season slowdowns. Although the near future for sales to restaurant and hospitality markets is bleak, retails sales have provided some needed support to the outlook for butter.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn climbed 9.50 cents, closing at $4.84 per bushel. January soybeans increased 11.50 cents, closing at $13.1525. January soybean meal gained $1.90 per ton, closing at $432.50. March wheat decreased 0.25 cent, closing at $6.4050. February live cattle gained $0.06, ending at $115.03. February crude oil gained $0.12, closing at $48.52 per barrel. The Dow climbed 197 points, closing at 30,606, while the NASDAQ gained 18 points, closing at 12,888.




Thursday Midday Dairy Market Summary - Cash Cheese Prices Higher, Futures Lower

Block cheese price increased a penny, closing at $1.65 with 10 loads traded. Barrel cheese price gained 3.50 cents, closing at $1.5425 with 4 loads traded. The positive aspect is , there has been good trading volume this week, yet prices have been able to increase. Unfilled bids for 4 loads of blocks remained at the close, indicating further upside could develop next week. Butter price declined 2.75 cents, closing at $1.42 with 1 load traded. This moves price to the lowest level since Dec. 1. Grade A nonfat dry milk price increased 0.25 cent, closing at $1.1425 with 1 load traded. Dry whey price declined 0.50 cent, ending at 46.25 with 1 load traded. Class III futures are 41 cents lower to 6 cents higher. February shows the greatest loss. Class IV futures have not yet traded. Butter futures are 1.25 cents lower to 0.80 cent higher. Dry whey futures are steady to 0.50 cent higher. The dairy market will close at 1:55 p.m. CST and will be closed Friday.




Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 53

In California, farm milk production continues ramping up. Milk shipments into Class I are anticipated to improve by the end of the week as schools prepare to reopen as soon as next week. No issues with milk handling have been reported this shortened week. Class II intakes remain active as cream is readily available. Milk orders from retail outlets are hearty.

In Arizona, milk production is on the rise as favorable weather is supportive of cow comfort. Some small processing facilities are expected to be closed during the holiday. Nevertheless, most balancing plants are scheduled to run at full capacity in order to balance large amounts of milk.

New Mexico milk production is steady to higher. Class I sales are lower    during this holiday week. Large amounts of milk/cream have been clearing into dryers and churns.

Strong milk production has continued across the Pacific Northwest. Favorable weather is promoting cow comfort. In addition, precipitation from the rainy season is covering good portions of the region, providing soil moisture now and snowpack at elevation for irrigation next year. Bottling demand is steady.

Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado is strong. Manufacturers have plenty of milk and discounted milk is common.     Some handlers are selling milk at $4.50 below Class IV. Industry contacts say that although milk supplies have tended to be long throughout the year, most dairy farmers are having a good year financially. Strong Class III prices and low producer price differentials have maintained farmers’ margins. Quality forages are in good supply and the snowpack is building in the mountains. Western condensed skim milk intakes are readily available for processing.

Large portions of these condensed skim milk volumes are scheduled to be converted into NDM during the holiday weekend. The western cream market remains on a bearish position as supplies are surpassing the immediate demand of buyers. Cream multiples are steady from last week.

 

     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream

     Multiples Range - All Classes:               0.9500 - 1.2200





Thursday Morning Dairy Market Update - Dairy Markets Close Earlier Today

 Opening Calls:

Class III Milk Futures: Mixed
Class IV Milk Futures: Mixed
Butter Futures: 1 to 2 Lower

Outside Market Opening Calls:

Corn Futures: 3 to 5 Higher
Soybean Futures: 10 to 15 Higher
Soybean Meal Futures: $1 to $3 Higher
Wheat Futures: 2 to 4 Lower

Milk:

Class III milk futures are slowly edging higher following cheese prices this week. The exception has been front-month January as it was the recipient of substantial volatility last week and is now trading in relation to underlying cash. There will likely be no real impact on trading due to it being New Year's Eve day. In the past when trading was open outcry, there was more of an impact as trading generally was thin as traders took the day off. Electronic trading allows traders to place orders from anywhere minimizing the impact of trading on or around holidays. Fewer people are traveling due to the virus keeping them at home or in the office watching the markets. Futures could show volatility depending on the movement of underlying cash, but it might follow the pattern of the week with limited impact even if cheese prices move. The December Class III price announced Wednesday was the lowest price since May. January may not be much better based on current futures price. However, January will be open to price movement of underlying cash over the next two weeks. It will then be generally be priced by the trade except for price adjustments based on weekly AMS prices. Dairy markets will close at 1:55 p.m. CT Thursday.

Cheese:

The recent support of cheese prices should continue as buyers are purchasing to rebuild aging programs at the lowest price they can. The uncertainty surrounding the level of demand that may be seen as a result of more money being appropriated for food aid will keep traders cautiously optimistic. It does seem as if the money provided from the stimulus bill will be used to increase purchases that are already happening for food programs and not another separate Food Box program.

Butter:

Price is just 0.25 cent from the low set on Dec. 14, and if it declines below that level, it will be the lowest since Dec. 1. After price spent a short while higher than barrel cheese and lower than block cheese, it is now the lowest of the three. Butter inventories are reportedly beginning to build again, which is significant due to already higher stocks than last year.




Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Wednesday Closing Dairy Market Update - November Income Over Feed: $11.87

 MILK

Milk futures were mixed again Wednesday despite another moderate rise of spot cheese prices. The market is adjusting to where it should be in relation to underlying cash after the exuberance of last week. Front-month January has declined the past four days even though cheese prices have increased. This may not be out of line as price jumped substantially last week Tuesday and Wednesday on emotion and is now correcting to get in line with underlying cash. Much of the rally in January likely should not have happened based on what is taking place now. The December Federal Order prices were announced with Class II at $14.01, up $0.15 from November. Class III price was $15.72, a decline of $7.62. Class IV price was $13.36, an increase of $0.06 from November. USDA released the November Agricultural Prices report. Income over feed for the month was $11.87 compared to $11.13 for October. Corn and soybean meal prices were higher, but so was the all-milk price. The average price for corn was $3.79, an increase of $0.04 from October. The central Illinois soybean meal price was $387.83, an increase of $20.72 per ton. The alfalfa hay price declined $4 per ton to an average of $167. Supreme/premium quality hay gained $6 per ton to an average of $200 per ton. The blended hay price used in the income over feed calculation was $183.50 per ton.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $17.25
6 Month: $17.36
9 Month: $17.38
12 Month: $17.34

CHEESE

Many cheese plants are reportedly running on full schedules. More milk will again be available. Spot milk will be available over the next few days at discounts larger than they had been over Christmas. There are many questions concerning the impact of an increase of government purchases due to the stimulus bill. This will keep traders guessing as to market direction until more definite information is released. Cheese inventories are reported to have increased during December, but this is not a concern to the market at present.

BUTTER

Churning is expected to be very active for the foreseeable future. Heavy cream supplies and reasonable prices for that cream are keeping churning busy. Demand is being met with extra moving to inventory. There is little effort to reduce churning in order to limit production to demand. Increased food service demand will not return anytime soon.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn jumped 8.50 cents, closing at $4.7450. January soybeans gained 8.25 cents, closing at $13.0375, with January soybean meal gained $5.40 per ton, closing at $432.40. March wheat jumped 22.25 cents, closing at $6.4075. February live cattle declined $0.12, ending at $114.45. February crude oil gained $0.40, closing at $48.40 per barrel. The Dow gained 74 points, closing at 30,410, while the NASDAQ gained 20 points, closing at 12,870.




Wednesday Midday Dairy Market Summary - Cheese Stretches Higher

Block cheese price increased 0.50 cent, closing at $1.64 with one load traded. Barrel cheese price increased 1.50 cents, closing at $1.5075 with one load traded. There was only one unfilled bid remaining at the close of trading and that was for a load of blocks at the closing price. The good news is that cheese continues to slowly increase. The bad news is that it is having limited effect on milk futures. Butter took a hit with price declining 4.50 cents, closing at $1.4475 with no loads traded. Price has fallen back to the lowest level since Dec. 14. Grade A nonfat dry milk increased 0.50 cent, closing at $1.14 with one load traded. Dry whey price remained unchanged at 46.75 with no loads traded. Class III futures are 22 cents lower to 5 cents higher. January posts the largest decline. Class IV futures have not yet traded. Butter futures are 0.50 to 2.00 cents lower. Dry whey futures are 0.10 cent lower. USDA will release the December Federal Order class prices as well as the November Agricultural Prices report Wednesday.




Wednesday Morning Dairy Market Update - Milk Futures Show Uncertainty

 Opening Calls:

Class III Milk Futures: Mixed
Class IV Milk Futures: Mixed
Butter Futures: Mixed

Outside Market Opening Calls:

Corn Futures: 2 to 3 Lower
Soybean Futures: 7 to 10 Lower
Soybean Meal Futures: $3 to $5 Lower
Wheat Futures: 1 to 3 Lower

Milk:

Class III futures are holding but are having a difficult time moving higher despite the increase of cheese prices. Traders are bullish, but cautious. The concern is just how far underlying cash prices could move at this time of year. Closer Class III contracts are already $1.00 to $1.50 higher than they were at the beginning of the month, possibly indicating that better demand through food aid has already been factored in. It is unclear whether the money earmarked for food aid on the stimulus bill will just be an increase of what is already being done, or if it will mean additional programs for food boxes similar to what took place this year. Traders are optimistic, but cautious. USDA will release the December Federal Order class prices Wednesday as well as the November Agricultural Prices report.

Cheese:

Cheese prices have been slowly increasing this week despite sellers readily offering product. Trading has been good. Buyers are not being overly aggressive and sellers continue to bring loads to the market. Increasing cheese production means there will be more product that will either need to be consumed or moved to storage. Some of the purchasing taking place is to rebuild aging programs, so it is purchased for the purpose of moving to inventory.

Butter:

Butter closed at the same price as barrels and is at risk of declining further. Output is strong and there are reports supplies are again building. Food service demand does not appear it will change anytime soon. In fact, the new strain of COVID-19 that was discovered in the U.K. has now been discovered in the U.S. This strain is more contagious and could have a significant impact on the rise of cases if it is not contained. The impact of COVID will not be over anytime soon.




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Tuesday Closing Dairy Market Update - Milk Futures Higher

 MILK

The basic fundamentals of the market remain unchanged. The heightened market movement has been the result of the stimulus bill. President Donald Trump signed the bill, but the controversy now is whether there will be more money sent to individuals in the form of a stimulus check. This is dominating the market, leaving the rest of the provisions in the bill somewhere in the back. There has been no indication as far as solicitations for food programs or for compensation for donated fluid milk, and we have no idea as to the time frame for any of this to take place. It may just be an ongoing application process without the fanfare that surrounded the Farmers to Families Food Box programs. The government already purchases for food programs on a monthly basis. This may just be added to the purchases increasing demand but distributed over the period of the next year. Of course, anything can take place, but until it does, traders will continue to keep guessing the direction of the market. USDA will announce the December Federal Order class prices Wednesday. The trade anticipates a Class III price of $15.76 and a Class IV price of $13.42. USDA will also release the November Agricultural Prices report Wednesday showing whether there will be any Dairy Margin Coverage program payments.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $17.32
6 Month: $17.37
9 Month: $17.40
12 Month: $17.36

CHEESE

Cheese is exhibiting some strength either due to the potential for more demand from government food programs or from the desire of cheese buyers to pick up product at the least-expensive price possible in order to rebuild aging programs. We are moving into the time of year when demand generally slows and inventory begins to build. It will be interesting to see whether milk production will continue to increase at the pace it has been. There are already numerous manufacturers that are running at capacity and may need to divert milk sooner than usual.

BUTTER

Cream supply is large with cream being diverted in order to find manufacturing capacity. This has not allowed plants to reduce production in order to balance demand with supply. Extra product is being put into inventory in hopes that demand from the food service industry will increase as the year progresses. Retail orders have slowed as stores assess product movement through the holidays before placing additional orders.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn jumped 9.50 cents, closing at $4.66. January soybeans jumped 40.25 cents, closing at $12.9550, with January soybean meal up $11.70 per ton, closing at $427. March wheat gained 4.25 cents, ending at $6.1850. February live cattle fell $1.20, closing at $114.57. February crude oil gained $0.38, ending at $48.00 per barrel. The Dow declined 68 points to 30,336 with the NASDAQ declining 49 points, closing at 12,850.




Dairy Market - Butter stocks drop but remain above year-ago levels

 U.S. butter stocks fell again in November but were still well above those of a year ago.

The Agriculture Department’s latest Cold Storage report shows the Nov. 30 inventory at 251.8 million pounds, down 47.9 million pounds or 16% from October, but a whopping 71.2 million pounds or 39.4% above November 2019, the 17th consecutive month they topped the year-ago level.

HighGround Dairy said this was the steepest butter drawdown of the year, as is usual in the month, but was less than the five-year average.

American type cheese climbed to 760.2 million pounds, up 4 million pounds or 0.5% from October and 19.8 million pounds or 2.7% above a year ago.

The “other” cheese inventory slipped to 564.5 million pounds, down 600,000 pounds or 0.1% from October, but 6.9 million pounds or 1.2% above a year ago.

The total cheese inventory inched up to 1.34 billion pounds, up 3.4 million pounds or 0.3% from October and 22.3 million pounds or 1.7% above a year ago.

COVID relief coming

Just as a Brexit deal came together on Christmas Eve, U.S. lawmakers had cobbled together another COVID relief package that promised much for the dairy industry. Unfortunately, it was combined with a monstrous omnibus appropriations bill that became a very expensive Christmas tree laden with insane spending, both home and abroad, with very little in the way of COVID relief for the American people.

The measure prompted harsh criticism from President Trump, who vetoed a $740.5 billion annual defense spending bill last Wednesday and led lawmakers to believe he might not sign the joint package. He did sign it, critical of its many expenditures, but called on lawmakers to increase the $600 per person stimulus to $2,000. The House agreed to the increase but it remains doubtful in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Lists appeared everywhere of what the two combined bills funded, with many terming the legislation “wasteful spending.” The COVID-relief and government funding bills carry a total price tag of $2.3 trillion.

The Daily Dairy Report says the bill allocates $400 million for dairy donations and directs USDA to purchase “not less than” $1.5 billion in seafood, produce, meat and dairy products for those in need.

“The bill includes $473 million for small dairy farms to increase coverage levels in the Dairy Margin Coverage program,” says the DDR, and “directs the secretary to ‘make additional payments to ensure that’ Coronavirus Food Assistance Program aid ‘more closely aligns with the calculated gross payment or revenue losses of any person or entity.’"

That, says the DDR, “suggests more aid could be forthcoming for producers with medium and large herds who received far less in aid intended to cover 80% of pandemic-related losses due to the $250,000 payment cap.”

Confused prices

Cash dairy prices looked confused in the Christmas holiday-shortened week. Cheddar block cheese started the week losing 4 cents, then jumped 9.75 cents Tuesday on news that a COVID-relief bill had been agreed upon. The possible veto talk likely turned thinking around and the blocks closed Thursday at $1.5975 per pound, down 2 cents on the week, and 23.25 cents below a year ago.

The barrels pole vaulted 15.25 cents last Tuesday, to $1.6250, highest since Nov. 12 and just 5 cents below the blocks, only to give back 7 cents Wednesday and 9 cents Thursday. They closed at $1.4650, a penny lower on the week, 13.5 cents below a year a year ago, and 13.25 cents below the blocks; 27 cars of block and 7 of barrel exchanged hands in the four days at the CME.

Monday’s trading took the blocks up 1.75 cents on 10 trades. Traders added 2 cents Tuesday, on 12 more trades, and blocks hit $1.6350.

The barrels inched up a half-cent Monday, also on 10 trades, and added 2.25 cents Tuesday, on 4 sales, hitting $1.4925, 14.25 cents below the blocks.

Spot milk was widely available in the Midwest Christmas week at even bigger discounts than recent weeks, according to Dairy Market News, and cheesemakers were shifting production to aging-friendly varieties. “They foresee the writing on the wall with foodservice demand, which has taken the brunt of the COVID-19 impact,” says DMN. “On the other hand, some pizza cheese producers have reported strong remaining sales. Some producers are granting more days off than usual to staff in light of COVID-19 issues, while others were using the ample milk to run steadily through the weekend."

Western cheese makers are running at capacity. Milk collections are adequate and there are discounted loads of milk floating around the region, according to DMN, but industry contacts are “studying the lessons learned from the 2020 cheese markets.”

In general, retail demand is stable and stronger than previous years, says DMN, but snack cheese items are not selling as well.

Cheese demand for institutional and sit-down dining is still weak, but pizza, fast food and other take-out options have helped move cheese. Manufacturers and end users are watching inventories closely. Some expect cheese stocks to grow in the near term as market participants sort out strategies for the coming year.

CME butter saw a Christmas Eve close at $1.5250 per pound, 7 cents higher on the week but 51 cents below a year ago, with 20 cars trading places last week.

The butter backed down 3.25 cents Monday, on an uncovered offer, and stayed there Tuesday, at $1.4925, with no activity.

The price uptick last week was a bit surprising in view of the Cold Storage data showing a buildup of inventory at the wrong time of the year. DMN reported that butter plants were closed anywhere from one to four days for the Christmas weekend, which perplexed cream suppliers trying to find homes for loads that were heavily discounted. Foodservice butter demand continues to find low points and, with long cream supplies, plant managers are producing butter at growing rates, though they are concerned about inventories coming into the new year.

Western butter output is gradually climbing and manufacturers are challenged to find room for the extra cream. Pre-holiday week sales of butter were better than anticipated but sources indicated that orders dropped off considerably Christmas Week.

Restaurant closings continue to occur and remain a stumbling block for foodservice, says DMN. Frozen butter stocks are “fully adequate,” but demand for first quarter bulk butter is “heavy,” says DMN.

Grade A nonfat dry milk finished last week at $1.1475 per pound, down 0.25 cents and 8.50 cents below a year ago, with 4 sales reported on the week.

The powder was down 0.50 cents Monday and lost 0.75 cents Tuesday, dipping to $1.1350, as 10 cars were unloaded.

Dry whey climbed to 46.75 cents per pound last Tuesday and that’s where it stayed, up 1.25 cents on the week and 15.25 cents above a year ago, with no sales.

The whey was unchanged Monday and Tuesday.

First 2021 milk price

The Agriculture Department announced the first Federal order milk price of 2021. The January Class I base price is $15.14 per hundredweight, down $4.73 from December and $3.87 below January 2020. It is the lowest Class I price since June’s $11.42.

Culling below 2019

Dairy cow culling fell in November, according to the latest Livestock Slaughter report, and well below a year ago. An estimated 229,400 head were sent to slaughter under federal inspection, down 29,600 head or 11.4% from October and 26,700 or 10.4% below November 2019.

A total of 2.79 million head were culled in the first 11 months of 2020, down 168,800 head or 5.7% from the same period in 2019.

In the week ending Dec. 12, 62,100 dairy cows were sent to slaughter, down 3,800 from the previous week, and 3,400 or 5.2% below a year ago.



From: Capital Press

Tuesday Midday Dairy Market Summary - Higher Cheese Prices Trigger Little Reaction

Block cheese price increased 2 cents, closing at $1.6350 with 12 loads traded. Barrel cheese price gained 2.25 cents, closing at $1.4925 with 4 loads traded. Buyers are aggressively looking for cheese to fill orders or likely to rebuild aging programs at the lowest possible price. This makes sense as the uncertainty of demand resulting from food programs as a part of the stimulus bill makes buyers interested in purchases to rebuild inventory that was depleted rather than waiting to rebuild aging programs during a historically slower demand period over the next few months. The increase had little impact on Class III futures with contracts ranging from 15 cents lower to 21 cents higher. January shows the only loss while February shows the greatest gain. Trading activity is light. Tuesday is the last day to trade December dairy futures and options with the Federal Order prices announced Wednesday. Butter price remained unchanged at $1.4925 with no loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk price declined 0.75 cent, closing at $1.1350 with 10 loads traded. Dry whey price remained unchanged at 46.75 cents with no loads traded. Class IV futures have not yet traded. Butter futures are 2.22 cents lower to 1.47 cents higher. Dry whey futures are 0.05 cent lower to 0.08 cent higher.




Tuesday Morning Dairy Market Update - Traders Show Uncertainty

 Opening Calls:

Class III Milk Futures: Mixed
Class IV Milk Futures: Steady to 5 Lower
Butter Futures: 1 to 2 Lower

Outside Market Opening Calls:

Corn Futures: Mixed
Soybean Futures: 3 to 6 Lower
Soybean Meal Futures: $2 to $4 Lower
Wheat Futures: 1 to 3 Higher

Milk:

Traders showed uncertainty overnight with bid and offers very wide apart. The disappointment of underlying cash leaves traders in a quandary over price direction. The anticipation is for milk prices to increase due to the provisions of the stimulus bill for food aid. However, underlying cash prices do not seem to be concerned over supply. Cheese prices have remained in a somewhat tight price range since mid-November, yet the market has experienced substantial volatility as emotion runs high. The impact of more money for food programs and reimbursement for milk donations may not be as great as it was in April and May due to the market being in a different posture and time of year. Milk production is higher, allowing for more milk to be available to satisfy demand. This is what is causing some uncertainty among traders.

Cheese:

The positive of the market is that support is holding. Prices may not get any worse than they have been. That will continue to provide some optimism that demand might improve prices as the year progresses. Cheese futures show increasing price as the year progresses in anticipation of a seasonal increase of prices.

Butter:

Butter futures exhibit optimism as futures show strength from now through October before they dip back seasonally. We know that price movement will be far from following this pattern. Demand will need to exceed supply, which may be a tall order for the foreseeable future. At present, spot price may continue to chop around remaining in a sideways range.




Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday Closing Dairy Market Update - Milk Futures Unable to Hold Gains

MILK

Even though cheese prices increased Monday, Class III futures lost much of their exuberance of overnight trading. January took the brunt of it as nearly half of the contract is priced. More stability of underlying cash and a continued choppy market may eliminate some of the extra price premium that had been put into the market. January lost 24 cents, falling back 56 cents from its high. May gained 10 cents with less price fluctuation. The initial reaction last night was similar to what took place a week ago, but not quite as dramatic. The signing of the stimulus bill puts a known influence back into the market. Traders will now turn back to spot trading activity as well as how dairy demand will play out as solicitations for food programs and compensation for fluid milk donations unfold. Milk production continues to slowly increase, providing plenty of milk for bottling and manufacturing, which will allow for more product to be available for increased demand. The prospect for higher milk prices will keep production strong.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $16.62
6 Month: $17.06
9 Month: $17.16
12 Month: $17.21

CHEESE

The increase of cheese prices Monday was limited as there were willing sellers meeting the demand of buyers. Both blocks and barrels had 10 loads traded each, which is quite good for a spot trading period. Sellers did not really hold back in anticipation of higher prices as a result of the stimulus bill. It is possible some of the product being sold could have been nearing the 30-day-old mark, and sellers wanted to move it to the market before it was ineligible to trade on the daily spot market. The fact that prices were able to close higher did provide hope that a floor has been set and this may be the lowest it gets.

BUTTER

Some plants were closed for a few days over Christmas, which put more cream out to the spot market at reduced prices. Plants are running again utilizing heavy cream supply and moving finished product to the market as quickly as possible. Retail demand has slowed with most outlets waiting to see the movement of butter over the next week before placing additional orders.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn gained 5.50 cents, closing at $4.5650. January soybeans declined 8.25 cents, closing at $12.5525, with January soybean meal down $1.50 per ton, closing at $415.30. March wheat fell 12.75 cents, closing at $6.1425. December live cattle gained $0.90, closing at $113.05. February crude oil declined $0.61, closing at $47.62 per barrel. The Dow gained 204 points, closing at 30,404, while the NASDAQ gained 95 points, ending at 12,899.




Monday Midday Dairy Market Summary - Cheese Increases While Butter Decreases

Block cheese price increased 1.75 cents, closing at $1.6150 with 10 loads traded. Barrel cheese price increased 0.50 cent, closing at $1.47 with 10 loads traded. Barrel price initially declined slightly before buyer interest moved it back to positive territory. Traders seemed to anticipate cheese prices would show greater strength. similar to what took place a week ago. Even though prices moved higher, the gain was a bit disappointing. However, most futures are holding well with contracts ranging from 18 cents lower to 22 cents higher. January shows the greatest loss with February showing the greatest gain. Butter price declined 3.25 cents, closing at $1.4925 with no loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk price declined 0.50 cent, closing at $1.1425 with no loads traded. Dry whey price remained unchanged at 46.75 with no loads traded. Class IV futures are 5 to 18 cents lower. Butter futures are 0.75 cent lower to 0.05 cent higher. Dry whey futures are 0.20 cent higher.





Monday Morning Dairy Market Update - Traders Excited Over Stimulus Bill Again

 Opening Calls:

Class III Milk Futures: 10 to 30 Higher
Class IV Milk Futures: Steady to 5 Higher
Butter Futures: Mixed

Outside Market Opening Calls:

Corn Futures: 1 to 3 Higher
Soybean Futures: 1 to 3 Higher
Soybean Meal Futures: $2 to $4 Higher
Wheat Futures: 2 to 5 Lower

Milk:

The signing of the stimulus bill triggered a bullish reaction again overnight. The reaction was not quite as strong as it was one night last week, but it does indicate the belief that demand of dairy for food programs will increase the demand for cheese and milk similar to what took place this year. Traders want to get ahead of the market despite the weakness of cheese just before Christmas. It is unclear how much this will impact dairy in 2021 as the industry seems better prepared for it this time. However, any increase in demand is always beneficial. One concern is that there will be plenty of milk available but will there be sufficient processing capacity over the next months in order to handle the milk and get it moved though the proper channels. There has been renewed discussions over the possibility of plants initiating quotas again for a period of time. There remains much uncertainty as we begin the final trading week of the year.

Cheese:

Cheese prices have not moved to any great extent since the middle of November, yet there has been substantial volatility in milk futures over the same period. The test will be Monday if cheese buyers will step into the spot market aggressively like they did at the beginning of last week when the stimulus bill was put forward for the president to sign. Now that it is officially signed, it is possible the same aggressive buying could be seen. Traders will try to assess supply with the purchase and distribution of dairy products through food programs.

Butter:

A strong price increase of butter is not expected. Increased demand through food programs should be easily met with large supply. Butter does not age as cheese does. Fresh product and stored product are of the same consistency allowing more product to always be available. Price is not expected to move much this week.





Thursday, December 24, 2020

Thursday Closing Dairy Market Update - Plentiful Milk Supplies

 MILK

Class III milk futures have finished a very volatile week as emotions ran high as a result of the outside influence of the stimulus bill and what it could mean for the dairy industry. There have been a number of assessments as to what the bill actually contains. So, it is difficult to know what could be the impact. Any increase in demand is always positive to the market and will support prices to some extent. Right now, the stimulus bill has still not been signed. Next week could be another holiday-shortened, volatile week. Spot milk is showing some substantial discounts with some reports in the Midwest of prices as low as $8.50 below class. That is not unusual for this period of time as milk is diverted to manufacturing as schools are closed. However, it is a different year as many schools had already been closed with classes online. Thus, the impact is not completely due to schools closing, but also due to substantial volumes of milk coming to processing facilities.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $16.69
6 Month: $17.08
9 Month: $17.19
12 Month: $17.10

CHEESE

For the holiday-shortened week, blocks declined 2 cents with 27 loads traded. Barrels declined a penny with seven loads traded. With all the volatility and movement in Class III futures, it is amazing that cheese prices settled lower for the week. This may be an indication of the position the market is in even though a significant amount of money has again been appropriated for food aid to the needy. Larger supply and the time of year during which overall demand slows may limit price impact. Dry whey increased 1.25 cents for the week with no loads traded.

BUTTER

For the week, butter increased 7 cents with 20 loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk price slipped 0.25 cent with four loads traded. There are some reports butter sales have dropped off noticeably this week. Retailers will wait until after the holidays to assess sales before placing orders to restock shelves.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn gained 3.75 cents, closing at $4.51. January soybeans gained 4.75 cents, ending at $12.6350, with January soybean meal down $4.40 per ton, closing at $416.80. March wheat declined 2.75 cents, ending at $6.27. December live cattle gained $0.22, ending at $112.15. February crude oil gained $0.18, ending at $48.30 per barrel. The Dow gained 70 points, closing at 30,200, with the NASDAQ up 34 points, closing at 12,805.




Thursday Midday Dairy Market Summary - Cheese Prices Decline

Block cheese price declined 5 cents, closing at $1.5975 with 2 loads traded. Barrel cheese price fell 9 cents, closing at $1.4650 with 4 loads traded. Both block and barrel prices declined below the level they were last Friday. The market ran on a lot of emotion this week due to the stimulus bill, which has not been signed and may need some type of overhaul. The bill will be signed, but the provisions and the impact for dairy are unknown. Uncertainty will continue to dominate the market. Butter price remained unchanged at $1.5250 with no loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk price remained unchanged at $1.1475 with no loads traded. Dry whey was steady at 46.75 with no loads traded. Class III futures are 52 cents lower to 4 cents higher. January shows the greatest loss while December posts the only gain. Class IV futures are 12 cents lower. Butter futures are 0.25 to 1.95 cents lower. Dry whey futures are 0.35 cent lower to 0.85 cent higher. Market closed at noon CST.




Thursday Morning Dairy Market Update - Traders Take a Break

 Opening Calls:

Class III Milk Futures: Mixed
Class IV Milk Futures: Mixed
Butter Futures: Mixed

Outside Market Opening Calls:

Corn Futures: Mixed
Soybean Futures: 7 to 11 Higher
Soybean Meal Futures: $1 to $2 Higher
Wheat Futures: Mixed

Milk:

It is as if traders are exhausted after three days of incredible volatility. They placed orders in the market and then went to bed to get a night of much-needed rest. It may also be close enough to Christmas that they just do not want to be very active Thursday with their focus being Christmas shopping. At any rate, there was no trading activity throughout the whole complex except for some trades in December 2021 butter at steady prices. The stimulus is on hold as President Donald Trump did not sign it; he is asking for more money for stimulus checks. The impact on dairy under the stimulus bill is unclear, but traders moved the market this week in anticipation of a similar impact as last year. The wrench in the works was the decline of cheese prices Tuesday. That set the tone for overnight trading. Markets will close at 12 p.m. CST Thursday and will reopen at 7 p.m. Sunday night.

Cheese:

Cheese prices threw a curve ball at the market Tuesday. It is possible, prices could move back down near where they were on Monday, but there remains optimism that demand will increase after the provisions of the stimulus bill are implemented. Traders are looking back to the impact on the market this year as a result of the Farmers to Families Food Box program and other benefits received through COVID aid. Cheese production will remain strong through the holiday period with very attractive spot milk prices.

Butter:

Butter continues to face some headwinds as production exceeds demand. There was a large decline of inventory in November, but some indication that stocks have increased in December. Supplies are large to close out the year, which may keep price potential limited. Cream handlers are struggling to find outlets for cream over the next few days. However, strong retail demand is expected to continue with buyers looking ahead to the first quarter of 2021.




Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wednesday Closing Dairy Market Update - Dairy Cattle Slaughter Declines

 MILK

Some areas report milk production somewhat flat for the week. Others indicate moderate growth. In either case, there are plentiful milk supplies available for manufacturing and bottling needs. Specialty holiday production of products such as eggnog is finished with production already changed back to regular items. Retail demand has been filled through the end of the year, for the most part, with retailers waiting to see how demand will be during the period before reordering anything other than usual amounts for early next year. There are many unknowns for the future and how the stimulus is going to affect dairy prices and demand. This has created much volatility and will continue to do so until more of the provisions are understood. The prospect for higher milk prices will keep the incentive for farms to hang onto cows. Dairy cattle slaughter for November totaled 229,400 head. This was 29,500 head fewer than October and 26,700 head fewer than November 2019. This is the lowest slaughter since August and the lowest November slaughter since 2014. Dairy markets will close at 12 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday and will open at the regular time Sunday night at 5 p.m. CST.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $16.82
6 Month: $17.18
9 Month: $17.28
12 Month: $17.32

CHEESE

Cheddar cheese production is strong, which was evident on the November Cold Storage report. This may change the impact on the market a bit if demand for food assistance requires increased amount of cheese. There are greater stocks than there was after the shut down during April of this year. Cheese manufacturers are switching some production to cheese varieties that are more suited for aging programs. There is limited expectation of a significant increase of demand from the food service industry anytime soon. The decline of cheese prices Wednesday did not make closer months turn and fall lower into negative territory as traders hold out hope of a surge of demand early next year due to government programs.

BUTTER

There have been some reports a few butter plants are planning to close for a few days this weekend. This is concerning to cream suppliers as they scramble to find alternative places that will take extra cream. This is causing cream prices to be heavily discounted in an attempt to make it attractive for another plant to take it. According to the cold storage report, butter inventories will end the year quite a bit higher than last year.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn gained 3.75 cents, closing at $4.4725. January soybeans gained 11.50 cents, closing at $12.5875, with January soybean meal up $6.20 per ton, closing at $421.20. March wheat jumped 12.75 cents, closing at $6.2975. December live cattle jumped $1.60, closing at $111.92. February crude oil gained $1.10 per barrel, ending at $48.12. The Dow gained 114 points, closing at 30,130, while the NASDAQ declined 37 points, ending at 12,771.




Wednesday Midday Dairy Market Summary - Cheese Falls Back

Volatility over the past two days has been unprecedented. There were six consecutive Class III contracts closing limit up with some contracts showing the largest pool of bids unable to be filled due to futures being limit up. There was substantial follow-through with February using the whole $1.50 range of expanded limit at one point. Futures have fallen dramatically due to weakness of spot cheese prices. Blocks declined 2.75 cents, closing at $1.6475 with 3 loads traded. Barrel cheese price declined 7 cents, closing at $1.5550 with no loads traded. Buyers of barrels were nowhere to be found with an uncovered offer setting the price. Butter gained 0.50 cent, closing at $1.5250 with 15 loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk price remained unchanged at $1.1475 with 2 loads traded. Dry whey price remained steady at 46.75 with no loads traded. This took the steam out of the Class III futures with only January and February posting gains of 47 cents and 49 cents, respectively. The rest of the contracts are 3 to 30 cents lower with double-digit losses from April through December. Class IV futures have not yet traded. Butter futures are steady to 1.22 cents higher. Dry whey futures are 0.85 cent lower.




Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S. Report 52


Farm milk production in California is steady to higher as favorable weather is supportive of     cow comfort. Manufacturers have plenty of milk for most processing needs. With schools’     bottling orders on hold for winter break and some processors running short schedules over     the holiday, milk handlers expect a surge of available milk in the short term. Class I sales     are lower during this holiday week. Large amounts of milk/cream have been clearing into     dryers and churns.
Cow’s milk output has plateaued in Arizona. Milk volumes are ample, but plant managers     report no major issues managing milk supplies. With the closing of educational institutions     for the holidays, milk shipments into Class I have declined. In order to help to clear large     cream supplies, some churners have been running at full capacity since the beginning of the     week.
Milk production in New Mexico is strong and growing. Balancing plant managers are actively     running full schedules, helping to clear some milk volumes within the state. Shipments into     Class I and II have seasonally declined, which is normal at this time of the year.
Milk production in the Pacific Northwest is strong and steady. Manufacturers say they are     getting plenty of milk to keep their facilities full. Bottling demand has increased slightly     ahead of the holidays, but milk handlers expect this to level off later in the week.     Contacts do not think there will be any problems finding homes for available milk.
Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado remains strong.     Plentiful milk is keeping manufacturing facilities full. While industry contacts say there     isn’t any milk hitting the ground, milk loads are available at the typical $4 under Class     IV discount. Some contacts think this discount could increase over the holidays. The     contacts add that if there are any production hiccups at processing facilities, they may     need to discard some milk.
In the West, condensed skim volumes are becoming more accessible, in line with the strong     regional farm milk production. A good portion of these condensed skim supplies has been     balanced into dryers. Some balancing plants are anticipated to be busy over the holidays,     converting condensed skim milk into NDM. The western cream market is on a bearish situation     as supply is beyond its current demand. Some processors are churning their cream instead of     selling at a discount value. Cream processing is very busy at most plants. Cream multiples     are lower from the previous week.


     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream
     Multiples Range - All Classes:               0.9500 - 1.2200




Wednesday Morning Dairy Market Update - Explosive Follow-Through Overnight

 Opening Calls:

Class III Milk Futures: 10 to 60 Higher
Class IV Milk Futures: 10 to 15 Higher
Butter Futures: 2 to 3 Higher

Outside Market Opening Calls:

Corn Futures: 1 to 3 Higher
Soybean Futures: 6 to 10 Higher
Soybean Meal Futures: $1 to $2 Higher
Wheat Futures: 2 to 4 Lower

Milk:

Traders continued to remain excited over the potential increase of demand due to money appropriated under the stimulus bill for food programs and for reimbursement to dairy processors for donations made to food banks. It is yet unclear as to how this will all be implemented and distributed, but it does provide for increased demand. Just how far milk futures will be able to rise is up to continued buying interest in the cash market. Buyers were aggressive Tuesday right from the start of spot cheese trading with bids continually raised. It is unclear just how aggressive buyers will be without knowing the specifics of how all of the stimulus money will be distributed. Class III futures are showing some very strong prices in anticipation. February and March contracts moved quickly above $18.00 last night, leaving a large price gap on the daily price charts as liquidation continues to take place.

Cheese:

Cheese buyers were aggressive Tuesday right from the opening of spot trading. Some buying may have been tied to the desire to get ahead of the potential for greater demand through food aid, while some of the buying might have been due to buyers wanting to rebuild aging programs and to purchase at the lowest price possible for storage. This may continue Wednesday as the increase may bring in more buyers from the sidelines.

Butter:

Butter did not show quite the same strength, but it certainly showed some strength. It will be interesting to see how the market will react over the next few weeks due to the bearishness of the Cold Storage report. A decline of inventory of 47.9 million pounds from October was supportive to the market. However, stocks 71.2 million pounds, or 39% higher than last year, is not friendly to the market. On top of that, churning remains very active. Price is not expected to move very much.





Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tuesday Closing Dairy Market Update - Cold Storage Shows Increasing Supply

 MILK

Class III milk futures closed limit up in January through June contracts. This is the first time that I have seen this many contracts in consecutive months close limit up. There will be expanded limits beginning with trading Tuesday evening. Class III futures are expected to jump substantially higher on the open Wednesday and during trading due to a large pool of traders in these contracts. All this volatility is the result of the stimulus bill and the anticipation of strong demand. We know there is $13 billion earmarked for food programs, and there is $400 million for a dairy donation program to pay for milk that is processed and donated to non-profit entities. It will be interesting to see just how this will all work out and how it will ultimately affect the whole milk price situation today.

AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES

3 Month: $16.43
6 Month: $17.00
9 Month: $17.24
12 Month: $17.34

CHEESE

USDA released the November Cold Storage report Tuesday, and it was somewhat bearish overall. American cheese in cold storage totaled 760.2 million pounds for the month. American cheese stocks were slightly higher than the previous month by 0.5%, but 2.7% higher than a year ago. It is almost unheard of to see American cheese stocks increase in November. Other natural cheese inventories had changes similar to American cheese. Other natural cheese inventories totaled 564.5 million pounds at the end of November, declining just 0.1% from October but were 1.2% higher from a year ago. Swiss cheese inventories were steady from October at 20.1 million pounds. Swiss cheese inventories fell 17.9% from the year prior. Total cheese in cold storage at the end of November was 1.345 billion pounds. Total cheese in cold storage was 0.3% higher than in October and 1.7% higher than a year ago.

BUTTER

Butter inventories did decline from October in a seasonally expected manner but still maintained a higher-than-average monthly amount compared to the year prior. Butter inventories in cold storage for November totaled 251.8 million pounds, down 16% from October, but 39.4% higher than in November of 2019. This solidifies the idea that butter stocks at the end of the year will be huge.

OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY

March corn gained 3.50 cents, closing at $4.4350. January soybeans gained 4 cents, ending at $12.4725, with January soybean meal up $2.70 per ton at $415. March wheat gained 5.75 cents, closing at $6.17. December live cattle declined $0.27, closing at $110.32. February crude oil fell $0.95 per barrel, closing at $47.02. The Dow lost 201 points, closing at 30,016, while the NASDAQ gained 65 points, closing at 12,808.




Dairy Market: November milk up 3.0%

High milk prices produce high milk production, and preliminary data in the USDA’s November Milk Production report proves that.

Output totaled 18.0 billion pounds, up a very bearish 3.0% from November 2019 and the biggest gain since December 2014. November output in the top 24 producing states hit 17.2 billion, up 3.1%.

Revisions lowered the October 50-state and 24-State totals by 7 million pounds, putting the 50 States at 18.55 billion pounds, still up 2.3% from October 2019.

November cow numbers totaled 9.41 million in the 50 states, up 12,000 from October’s count, which was revised up 5,000 head, and is 62,000 above a year ago.

 November output per cow averaged 1,916 pounds, up 43 pounds or 2.3% from a year ago.

California milk was up a hefty 2.6% from a year ago, thanks to a 55-pound gain per cow offsetting 5,000 fewer cows milked. Wisconsin was up 2.7%, on a 60-pound gain per cow offsetting 5,000 fewer cows.

Idaho was up 2.0%, thanks to 11,000 more cows and 5 pounds more per cow. Michigan was up 3.6%, on a 45-pound gain per cow and 6,000 more cows. Minnesota was up 3.9%, on a 60-pound gain per cow offsetting 2,000 less cows. New Mexico was up 2.5%, on a 35-pound gain per cow and 2,000 more cows.

New York was up 2.1%, thanks to a 40-pound gain per cow. Cow numbers were unchanged.

Oregon was down 1.4% on 2,000 fewer cows but output per cow was up 5 pounds. Pennsylvania was up 0.9%, on a 25-pound gain per cow offsetting a loss of 3,000 cows from a year ago.

South Dakota was up 13.4%, on 13,000 more cows and 55 more pounds per cow. Texas was up 9.8% on a whopping 33,000 more cows and a 75-pound gain per cow.

Washington state was off 0.4% on 2,000 less cows, with milk per cow up 5 pounds. Only six of the top 24 states showed declines.

Hope in Vilsack

Lawmakers have cobbled together another so-called COVID relief package that will carry a $900 billion price tag, with $26 billion earmarked for nutrition assistance and agriculture and rural programs.

Meanwhile, some in the dairy industry applauded the pick of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture in a Biden administration, due to his current position heading the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

But, that may or may not be totally positive, says Matt Gould, analyst and editor of the “Dairy and Food Market Analyst.”

Speaking in the Dec. 21 “Dairy Radio Now” broadcast, Gould discussed the expectation of government intervention in the markets due to the ongoing COVID devastation. He said that restaurant lockdowns and even the snowstorm that hit the East Coast last week are affecting demand, especially for butter and cheese.

“We’re past the rush of holiday orders, so we’re seeing the fundamentals of dairy products deteriorating,” Gould warned. “You look at that and say that’s got to be price negative. But that sits in the backdrop of a government that’s looking to intervene in markets, funding more food purchases.”

He said it remains to be seen what the new secretary’s priorities will be in terms of market intervention “but it’s likely he will be intervening.” He added that, while Vilsack would come to the job with a better understanding of the dairy industry than previous secretaries, “He is particularly sensitive about doing anything that would disrupt U.S. dairy exports.”

“Traditionally, dairy policy has focused on the domestic market,” Gould said, “but Vilsack is going to be concerned the U.S. remains export competitive, which might mean policy that creates lower domestic prices some of the time, or at least sensitive to not wanting to spike U.S. prices and make us not competitive.”

Santa came early

CME dairy prices showed little reaction to the November Milk Production report last week. The Cheddar blocks marched to $1.6525 per pound last Tuesday but closed Friday at $1.6175, unchanged on the week and 24.25 cents below a year ago.

The barrels finished Friday at $1.4750, up 3.25 cents, but 19 cents below a year ago, and 14.25 cents below the blocks; 17 cars of block traded hands at the CME last week and 16 of barrel.

The blocks fell 4 cents Monday on 7 trades, but jumped 9.75 cents Tuesday, hitting $1.6750, with 15 cars sold. Amazing what Santa, I mean lawmakers in Washington, spending more money will do.

The barrels lost 0.25 cents Monday but pole vaulted 15.25 cents Tuesday on 1 trade, and hit $1.6250, highest since Nov. 12, and only 5 cents below the blocks, as traders awaited the afternoon’s November Cold Storage report.

StoneX Dairy says foodservice data from Black Box Intelligence showed sales in the last week of November down 16% from a peak of about negative 6.5% in early October. It was the third consecutive week of decline and all regions it collected data from saw declines, “clear that the winter weather is taking its toll on foodservice on top of many cities banning indoor dining.”

StoneX calculated domestic sales disappearance year-over-year levels without government purchases and warned, “It paints a grim picture. Without a renewal of government purchases we could likely see a movement towards the trend that our milk, butter and cheese figures are presenting. Over the course of the pandemic we have seen a decline in non-government domestic sales compared to 2019 levels. It isn’t a factor of consumers not wanting dairy products as much as it is an issue of demand disappearing due to the removal of normal school and restaurant purchases.”

Dairy Market News reports that Midwest cheese market tones have “steadied.” Mozzarella and or pizza style cheesemakers say buyers are returning. Curd and barrel producers say interest remains but sales have slowed. Foodservice demand is “tricky at best.”

Spot milk is widely available and offers remain well below Class but production is steady. Cheesemakers also report that employees are returning after COVID quarantines but staffing remains a concern in plants.

Western cheesemakers have no issue getting milk, thus cheese output is active. Retail and pizza cheese sales have been adequate to solid but food service demand is disappointing, says DMN. “As schools enter their winter breaks and pockets of the region face tighter restrictions on sit down dining, foodservice demand could diminish into the abysmal category.”

One positive note is that with the lower market prices, buyers, including those from export markets, are more interested in seeking cheese deals, says DMN.

Cash butter got a small boost from last week’s GDT, climbing to $1.4750 per pound Tuesday, but it was short-lived and closed the week at $1.4550, 2.50 cents lower and 55 cents below a year ago, with 36 cars finding new homes.

The butter gained 2 cents Monday and added 4.50 cents Tuesday, climbing to $1.52.

Bulk butter is available, according to most contacts, but plant managers report continued interest in keeping supplies in check, says DMN. Cream availability is wide and putting stress on suppliers trying to find homes for the cream Christmas and New Year’s Week. Butter market tones are “uncertain.”

Western butter output shows no sign of slowing as cream supplies are heavy. Butter makers’ concerns have pivoted to processing bulk butter for storage and use for near term 2021, says DMN. Interest is following normal seasonal patterns as a few buyers assess near term needs.

The domestic butter price remains competitive in the export market, as evidenced in the latest GDT, and “industry representatives are keeping a close watch on the global butter price.”

Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at $1.15 per pound, up 2.25 cents on the week but 10 cents below a year ago; 11 sales were reported on the week.

The powder was unchanged Monday but inched back 0.25 cents Tuesday to $1.1475 per pound.

Spot dry whey finished Friday at 45.50 cents per pound, 1.25 cents lower on the week but 14 cents above a year ago, with 3 sales for the week.

The whey was unchanged Monday but gained 1.25 cents Tuesday, climbing to 46.75 cents per pound.

Fluid sales down 1.8%

October fluid milk sales did not fare well. The USDA’s latest data shows 3.97 billion pounds of packaged fluid products were sold, down 1.8% from October 2019.

Conventional product sales totaled 3.7 billion pounds, down 2.1% from a year ago. Organic products, at 237 million pounds, were up 2.8%, and represented 6.0% of total sales for the month.

Whole milk sales totaled 1.3 billion pounds, down 1.6% from a year ago. Sales for the 10-month period totaled 12.9 billion pounds, up 3.5% from 2019, and made up 32% of total milk sales for October.

Skim milk sales, at 232 million pounds, were down 16.3% from a year ago and down 14.6% year to date.

Total packaged fluid milk sales, January through October, amounted to 38.4 billion pounds, up 0.2% from 2019. Conventional product sales so far, totaled 36.0 billion pounds, down 0.5%. Organic products, at 2.4 billion pounds, were up 11.1% and represented 6.2% of total fluid milk sales so far for the year.

Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to you and your family for a blessed and joy-filled Christmas. Though COVID may affect the day, it cannot affect the Spirit and the joy this day truly represents, the “reason for the season.”

As the Proverb says, “A joyful heart, makes a cheerful face.” I hope you have both this year and on into 2021.



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...