In your October 10, 2019 issue . . .

CLASS III FUTURES CLIMBED 25 CENTS during a two-week trading window in September to reach $17.75 per cwt. for the final two months of 2019. Contracts for the first nine months of 2020 netted $16.90.

SPOT CHEESE MARKETS HELPED DRIVE CME futures upward. In mid-September, Cheddar blocks and barrels surged forward on double-digit gains topping out $2.23-3/4 and $1.94 per pound, respectively. While blocks retreated to $2, those prices were the best since 2014.

USDA PROJECTED AN $18.85 ALL-MILK PRICE for 2020 driven by a higher Class III price forecast. That was up a nickel over last month.

JULY DAIRY EXPORTS CLIMBED 10 PERCENT, based on dollar value, to reach $475 million. In the first seven months of the year, exports were valued at $3.4 billion, up 3 percent and the highest since 2014. On a volume basis, however, export sales were off 13 percent this year.

WITH THE UPTICK IN DAIRY MARKETS, CULLING slowed in August as 13,100 fewer dairy cows were sent to packing plants compared with the 279,700 total just one year earlier. Overall, year-to-date culling remained ahead of last year’s pace, up 72,800 head to 2.16 million.

AUGUST MILK INCHED UP 0.2 PERCENT NATIONALLY. Of the top 24 dairy states, 10 reduced production, three held steady, and 11 were up when comparing to the same month last year. As for the top two states: California rose 1.5 percent and Wisconsin fell 0.5 percent.

DAIRY CO-OPS MARKETED 77.8 PERCENT of all milk in 2017, according to the USDA report Marketing Operations of Dairy Cooperatives in 2017. When including milk received from nonmembers and non-cooperative firms, dairy co-ops handled 84.8 percent of U.S. milk production.

IN CONTRAST, THE TOP 50 DAIRY CO-OPS marketed 81 percent or 175.7 billion pounds of the nation’s milk in 2018, based on the Hoard’s Dairyman top 50 co-op list found on page 589 of this issue.

CONSOLIDATION CONTINUED as 28 percent of the nation’s 155 cooperatives either merged with another entity or discontinued business from 2007 to 2017. Dairy co-ops totaled 226 in 1997 and 296 in 1987.

DRIVEN BY CHEESE, dairy product consumption tied a modern-day record at 646 pounds for every U.S. citizen when measured on a milk-equivalent, milkfat basis. Both American-style (15.4 pounds) and Italian (22.5 pounds) cheeses posted new records, according to USDA data.

FLUID MILK CONTINUED TO FLOUNDER, falling to 146 pounds per person when evaluated across the entire U.S. In 2008, that total had been 179 pounds. On a positive note, whole milk sales climbed for the fifth straight year, and flavored milk sales rose to the highest levels since 2005.

In your next issue!

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