Washington Dairygrams - April 10, 2011

CASH BLOCK CHEESE PRICE DROPPED from $2-a-pound-plus in early March to the low $1.60s at closing. Butter was down but still more than $2 a pound. Whey prices showed strength moving into the 40- to 47-cents-a-pound range. CHEESE IN STORAGE still totals more than 1 billion pounds. February total cheese stocks were up 4 percent from a year earlier but down 2 percent from January. Butter supplies were down 32 percent from a year earlier. U.S. DAIRY EXPORTS WERE UP 49 percent in January compared to 2010. Value of products shipped was $331.7 million compared to import values of $171.9 million. Trade surplus totaled $159.8 million during the month. ANALYSTS ASSESSING how Japan's ordeal will affect world trade. Japan is U.S.'s largest pork market, third largest beef market, and fourth largest dairy market. USDA BOOSTS projection of 2011 All-Milk Price by more than $2 per hundred to between $18 and $18.70. Puts Class III price average in $16.35-to-$16.95-range. April through December Class III futures averaged just over $17. CORN FUTURES for May and July in $7-per-bushel territory driven by both ethanol use and export demand. China is expected to import the largest volume of corn in 15 years. It already is the world's largest importer of soybeans. FEBRUARY MILK OUTPUT up 2.4 percent in the 23 states compared to a year ago. Report shows cow numbers held steady at 9.16 million. Most of February's gain was due to higher milk per cow. It was up 1.3 percent over a year ago. IN TOP STATES, California output was up 2.4 percent with 8,000 (0.5 percent) fewer cows. Wisconsin up just 0.5 percent in milk. New York was up 3.8 percent in milk with a big jump in milk per cow. Idaho was up 3.4 percent. CWT HAS ASSISTED in export of 19 million pounds of cheese this year. But program is struggling to sign up the needed 75 percent of the milk supply to continue at the 2-cent-per-hundred level. Sign-up percent is in mid-60s. BRIEFLY: Class I mover for April is $19.43, up $1.20 from March and $6.21 above a year ago. Slight uptick in fluid milk use during November through January quarter, but January fluid consumption was down 0.1 percent. Global milk powder prices have softened but still are near three-year highs.
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