Milk production estimates nudge higher

The downward trend continued in the dairy markets on Friday. Cash cheese barrels on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange slipped another 1.25 cents to close at $1.6725. Blocks held steady at $1.72 while butter increased .75 cents to $1.455 per pounds.

For the week, cash cheese barrels are down 4.75 cents, blocks down 4 cents, butter is 4.5 cents lower and the average Class III futures for January through April lost 48 cents.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from USDA on Friday raised the milk production estimate for 2012 citing increased production per cow and slower culling rates in the fourth quarter. 2012 production is now estimated to be 200 billion pounds, a 300 million pound increase from last month’s estimate. If realized it would be a 3.8 billion pound increase over 2011.

Milk production estimate for 2013 was raised 200 million to 199.9 billion pounds to reflect the slow-down in cull rates. That pushed estimated prices down from last month. Cheese is 4 cents lower now estimated at between $1.71 and $1.79 this year. Butter is 6 cents lower at $1.535 to $1.645 for 2013. Nonfat dry milk and dry whey price estimates were raised a penny-each from last month’s report.

The Class III price estimate for 2013 is $17.65 to $18.45, down 35 cents from last month. Class IV is a dime lower at $16.90 to $17.80 per hundredweight and the all milk price was reduced 30 cents now pegged at between $18.85 and $19.65 for 2013.

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