Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

April 2

Industry contacts in California anticipate reaching peak flush in a few weeks. Milk production is flat year over year but following seasonal patterns. Spot load sales are very limited; it is difficult for milk sale outlets to find available capacity. Class I and Class II demand are steady.

Daytime temperatures are climbing in Arizona, but the nights are still cool. Cows are comfortable, and milk production is nearing peak. Class I demand is high, and bottling and other dairy manufacturing operations are maintaining balance.

Class I orders in New Mexico are returning to normal following spring breaks. Production is steady, and balancing plants are active.

Milk output in the Pacific Northwest is increasing but well-balanced. Class I demand is strong overall but shows slight variation across the region as different states cycle through spring break.

Spring temperatures, ideal for cow comfort, are returning to the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. There are some concerns about higher feed costs, but contacts suggest current water supplies are in good shape ahead of the spring planting season. In addition, farmers have good amounts of quality forage to maintain strong milk production until the new hay crop comes in. Contacts say some milk is being transported out of the region to help with balancing, and output is expected to continue to grow.

Condensed skim annual contract sales are steady, and spot loads are meeting local demand as it arises. With spring holiday retail butter orders in the rearview mirror, cream supplies have loosened a little in the West. Butter production has slowed slightly, and churns are attracting less cream than in recent weeks. Ice cream makers would prefer lower than current cream prices but want to stay ahead of seasonal demand, especially if pandemic issues fade early in the summer.

Cream multiples inched up a few points on the top of the range this week.

Pacific Northwest Market Order: Milk delivered to the Pacific Northwest Order 124 totaled 562.7 million pounds in February 2021. Class I utilization was 129.5 million pounds and accounted for 23.0 percent of producer milk. The uniform price was $14.43, down $0.25 from January 2021, and $2.39 below the same month a year ago.

Arizona Market Order: Milk delivered to the Arizona Order 131 totaled 318.7 million pounds in February 2021. Class I utilization was 94.8 million pounds and accounted for about 29.8 percent of producer milk. The uniform price was $14.69, down $0.29 from January 2021, and $2.56 below the same month a year ago.