Things are looking up for dairy

Milk production is slightly above seasonal averages in the Central United States, Dairy Market News reports milk supplies remain tight thanks to holiday demand and retail stores running specials on gallons of milk. Spot loads are still bringing up to $3 over Class, premiums are also being paid for condensed skim and butter makers are paying higher prices for cream to meet holiday demand. The week before Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest week of the year for bottling plants in the Northeast and this year is no exception. Class I demand is strong in the Southeast as seasonal residents return, 70 loads shipped into Florida this week. Out west, California processors say they are running below capacity but recent changes to the base pricing formula is encouraging some to consider herd expansion. Arizona production is increasing with more cows and cooler weather.

USDA Foreign Ag Service reports cheese and curd exports in September totaled 56.8 million pounds up 40 percent compared to September of last year. For the January-through-September period exports have totaled 507 million pounds up 14 percent from the same period in 2012. 507 million pounds represents 6.1 percent of the total U.S. cheese production. European cheese supplies are tight and priced above the U.S.

Dairy cow slaughter in the United States in October totaled 277,000 cows, up 12,000 from September but 8,000 less than in October of 2012. Year-to-date dairy cow slaughter has totaled 2.6 million head compared to 2.7 million for January-through-October of 2012.

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