Fluid Milk and Cream — West

Dec. 27

In California, milk production trends are close to that of last year at this period. Milk supplies are still plentiful because of loads building up during the last holiday, but are slowly coming down as they are being balanced.

Next week, milk loads moving to balancing facilities will be higher since some plants will be closed on New Year's Day. However, milk handling is expected to go smoothly because processing plants in the state have enough capacities. Class I demand is unchanged from a week ago.

Arizona milk supplies are reported below last year's volumes. However, milk is more than enough to meet the needs of the industry. Class II orders are unsettled as many producers of cream-based products have slowed down their activities. Consequently, more cream is being churned. Intakes for fluid milk are mostly stable to down.

New Mexico milk production has increased in this holiday shortened week while processors' orders declined sharply. Class I and II demands were both down. However, cheese makers' intakes of milk are about at the same levels as that of last week. Several balancing plants have worked at full capacities to help clear holdovers of milk. Accordingly, holdovers have started to diminish as of now, but are expected to increase back again next week when plants close for the next holiday.

Pacific Northwest dairy contacts say milk production is starting to climb from the seasonal lows. Bottling demand is lighter with educational institutions on winter breaks. Milk handlers have made their adjustments and checked them twice, to assure homes for milk within their processing facilities. Many processors are running at or near full capacity aside from some time off for the holidays.

In the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado, milk production is seasonally strong. There has yet to be any adverse weather to cause discomfort in milking herds. Manufacturing plants are running near full capacity. Some excess milk loads are getting pushed out into the neighboring states because there is no room for them at the intake station. Snows are starting to accumulate at elevations, giving farmers the hope of irrigation water for the growing season to come. Condensed skim supplies have increased throughout the week as the result of more milk availability in the West.

Western cream stocks are currently available at discounted prices. Many loads are clearing through the churns due to higher cream on hand compared to sales. Cream multiples for all usages are down this week, ranging .95-1.19.

National Retail Report Dairy ± Fluid Milk Summary
     Advertised Prices at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets ending during the period of 12/21/18
     to 12/27/2018

     Half Gallon, All Fat Tests
                       Weighted Average Price
     National    This Period    Last Week   Last Year
      Organic          $4.57       $3.76      $4.10
      Conventional     $2.60       $2.82      $2.40

     Regional (Conventional)
                   Wtd. Ave.       Low         High
     Alaska            $2.69       $2.69      $2.69
      Northwest         n.a.        n.a.       n.a.
      Southwest         n.a.        n.a.       n.a.

     Regional (Organic)
                   Wtd. Ave.       Low         High
      Northwest         n.a.        n.a.       n.a.
      Southwest         n.a.        n.a.       n.a.

     Gallon, All Fat Tests
                       Weighted Average Price
     National    This Period    Last Week   Last Year
      Organic         $5.21       $3.99        $5.78
      Conventional    $2.61       $3.05        $3.22

     Regional (Conventional)

                   Wtd. Ave.       Low         High
      Northwest       $1.76        $1.67      $1.99
      Southwest       $2.26        $1.67      $2.59

     Regional (Organic)
                   Wtd. Ave.       Low         High
      Northwest         n.a.        n.a.       n.a.
      Southwest         n.a.        n.a.       n.a.

     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream
     Multiples Range - All Classes:               0.9500 - 1.1900

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