Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

March 21

California milk production is inching up and dairy product manufacturers are staying busy, running their dryers near full performance levels.

Overall, milk intakes are consistent with previous years’ levels. The processing of the holiday dairy products is slowly ramping up.

Retail milk orders and bottled milk demand are unchanged from a week ago.

In Arizona milk production is going to the satisfaction of dairy farmers. Milk supplies are adequate to fulfill all end users’ needs. Dryers are kept at full or close to full manufacturing capacities. Butter churning remains active.

With a few schools on spring break or just coming back from spring break, there is less milk moving into Class I accounts. The storms and high winds in some parts of New Mexico caused some disruptions in milk processing toward the end of last week.

This week, milk processing activities are back to normal aside from minor milk diversions from their original delivery destinations to other plants. Milk production is generally flat to a bit up in the state. Class II and III sales are up, whereas Class I demand is somewhat lower.

Pacific Northwest milk production is rebounding and increasing as spring issues into the region. Most processing facilities have plenty of milk. Manufacturers are running near full capacity. A few processors, however, report intakes are off a bit due to herd dispersal sales or remaining herd health issues from the winter storms last month. Bottling demand is stable.

Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado is strong. Intakes are in balance with processing needs, and most milk can find a home nearby. Discounted milk loads are not widely available.

Initial reports out of Colorado suggest that last week’s winter storm did not result in significant losses of milk cows. However, due to blizzard conditions and closed roads, some farms missed milk pickups and had to dispose of several tanker loads of milk.

There was a very little change to condensed skim availability throughout the West. With current strong milk output, condensed skim is in good supply.

Cream supply is adequate is the West. According to industry contacts, ice cream production is set to soon ramp up; therefore, cream demand will likely increase. Cream cheese manufacturing is also active ahead of the holiday. Currently, cream sales are stable and great price discounts are not easily found.

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