Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

Jan. 16

California milk production is at seasonal levels. Mild temperatures are in favor of milk production. Milk supplies are plentiful, keeping processing facilities on full schedules. Milk orders from educational institutions are flat, whereas Class II demands are a bit lower.

Arizona milk processing continues on a lively tone to guarantee that all milk is taken care of in an efficient and timely manner. Balancing plants are actively being run as more in-state and out-of-state milk continues to clear through the dryers. Class I sales have stabilized at seasonal levels. Class II demand is low. Milk production is generally flat to up.

In New Mexico, although milk holdovers are currently above average levels, they are still manageable. Class II and III sales are lower. Class I intakes continue to increase with the refilling of schools' pipelines post-holidays. Despite wet weather conditions in part of the state, milk delivery schedules were not much affected.

Pacific Northwest milk production is continuing at a strong pace. Furthermore, industry contacts say milk output is growing. Bottling demand is steady. And with manufacturers running plants at or near full capacity, milk handlers are looking for ideas on how to control the milk supply.

Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado is increasing. Many of the region’s processors, especially in Idaho, are already at capacity. Discounted milk loads are common, and milk is moving into surrounding regions. Industry contacts say Idaho farmers are primed to expand, but without more processing space, any expansion becomes a challenge. A few processors are contemplating imposing production caps to control the milk supply.

In the West, condensed skim is available to meet all demands. There is stability in prices. As churns remain full of cream in the West, some manufacturing facilities had to decline taking additional loads of cream no matter the prices. Several plant managers are also opting to produce more butter in-house instead of selling cream at lower prices. Freight costs and weather conditions are limited the movement of cream across regions. Cream multiples are steady.

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