As printed in our March 10, 2016 issue...
USDA BECAME MORE CAUTIOUS lowering its 2016 All-Milk price estimate to $15.65 per hundredweight. The agency's projections have fallen steadily from last May's opening forecast that had a $17.95 midpoint.
DAIRY PRODUCT PRICES HAVE DROPPED in four consecutive bi-weekly trading sessions at New Zealand's Global Dairy Trade. This has further reduced milk flow in the world's largest dairy export nation.
EUROPEAN FARMERS have been somewhat shielded from market signals as some organizations propped up prices. However, financial reserves now are running low and true market signals may reduce the milk spigot. In Ireland, one group proposed a market-driven price volatility program.
THERE WAS A FURTHER DROP in pick-up tanker milk samples testing positive for antibiotics . . . 371 out of 3.07 million or 0.012 percent. That was down from last year's 0.0136 percent and represented an all-time low.
HOVERING AT 200,000, somatic cell counts have been in a holding pattern four straight years based on a 2015 analysis of national DHIA records. SCC had dropped from 296 to 217 over the previous seven years.
CLASS I OR FLUID USE across all federal orders rose to 33 percent last year. Class II (yogurt and soft products) was 14 percent (up 3 percent from 2014); Class III (cheese), 40 percent (down 5 percent); and Class IV (butter and dried products), 14 percent (up 2 percent).
DAIRY FARMERS' SHARE of the retail food dollar peaked at 2014s 38 percent after ranging from 28 to 35 percent since 2000. Whole milk delivered the most value to dairy farmers who received 61 percent of grocery store sales. Cheddar cheese netted 39 percent and ice cream 22 percent.
U.S. MILK OUTPUT COULD GROW 23 PERCENT over the next decade, projected USDA economists. While cow numbers should remain near 9.3 million head, milk per cow could climb from 22,410 to 27,405 pounds.
CALIFORNIA EXPORTED 40 PERCENT of all U.S. dairy products, according to USDEC data. The Golden State's best customer was Mexico, which purchased 37 percent of that total. China ranked second.
CONFINED IN CANADA, Agropur has been eyeing further U.S. acquisitions, reported Reuters. The Quebec-based dairy co-op owned by some 3,400 farmers earned 44 percent of its revenue last year in the U.S.
BRIEFLY: With world-leading butter prices, the U.S. imported 91.4 million pounds of butter, while it exported 51 million. FDA will begin testing milk and other foods for glyphosate this year. Snowstorm Goliath slowed December milk 12 percent in New Mexico and 6.7 percent in Texas. U.S. milk rose 0.3 percent. Only able to fill 28 percent of its dairy demand, Vietnam remained a top twelve ag trading partner.