Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S.

Feb. 14

Milk production in California has remained strong and steady. Manufacturing facilities are being run seven days per week to make sure that all the milk available is balanced.

Compared to the previous week, a few more loads of milk are moving into balancing facilities. Fluid milk demand is flat. Despite strong milk yield in Arizona, milk volumes continue to be lower compared to the previous year.

Weather conditions are chilly, especially in the morning and are favoring cows' milk throughput. Milk pulls from local handlers are at seasonal levels. Bottled milk sales are stable. There have been very limited volumes of milk moving to out-of-state processors.

The flush has also started in Arizona, but so far, the milk market tone is stable.

In New Mexico, farm milk output is a bit up. Some of our sources stated that there are a few new farms that came on board in the state and are contributing to the increase in milk volumes produced. Balancing plants are running on busy schedules.

Mechanical issues created an unplanned redistribution of milk to processors. However, milk holdovers remain high, but would likely decrease in the coming days. Class I sales are down while Class II and III requests have slightly improved.

Pacific Northwest milk production and milk intakes took a step back this week. Winter storms in the early part of the week covered large portions of the region in snow, cold temperatures and high winds.

Industry contacts say blizzard conditions closed roads and made milk pickups and distribution challenging. Contacts suggest milk may have been discarded at some farms because milk trucks could not get in to collect the milk. Local media outlets also reported nearly 1,600 cows died in the Yakima Valley snowstorm.

In the short term, bottling demand across the Pacific Northwest spiked due to the storms. Grocery store shelves were cleaned out of available milk. Dairy contacts say it will take a little time to refill the bottling pipeline. While it may be too early to tell what lasting effect the storms will have on dairy production, the losses compound the financial stress faced by farmers from several years of low milk prices.

Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado is strong and in generally good balance with processing needs. Industry contacts say aside from a few days of repairs and maintenance, most manufacturers are running at or near seven day schedules.

A few loads of milk continue to get moved into or from surrounding states as milk handlers seek to balance fluid and processing needs. Condensed skim supplies are plentiful in the West. They are mostly going into cheese processing and a bit is also moving into ice cream.

According to some industry players, condensed skim is extremely pricy in California. With increasing customers' demand, more condensed skim has been moving into California compared to cream.

In the West, the market is flooded with cream. Demand seems minimal, so some manufacturers are churning in-house in lieu of selling. Some distressed loads are also moving out of the region at discounted prices. Cream multipliers for all usages are 1.00 to 1.15.

     National Retail Report Dairy ± Fluid Milk Summary
     Advertised Prices at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets ending during the
      period of 2/08/19 to 2/14/2019

     Half Gallon, All Fat Tests              Weighted Average Price
     National                       This Period     Last Week    Last Year
      Organic                         $3.98           $3.63        $3.63
      Conventional                    $1.54           $2.46        $2.00

     Regional (Conventional)        Wtd. Ave.       Low          High
      Northwest                       $2.59           $2.59        $2.59
      Southwest                       $0.88           $0.88        $0.88

     Regional (Organic)             Wtd. Ave.       Low          High
      Northwest                       $3.99           $3.99        $3.99
      Southwest                       $4.49           $4.49        $4.49

     Gallon, All Fat Tests                   Weighted Average Price
     National                       This Period     Last Week    Last Year
      Organic                         $5.62           $6.01        $7.13
      Conventional                    $2.60           $2.65        $2.33

     Regional (Conventional)        Wtd. Ave.          Low          High
      Northwest                       $1.99           $1.99        $1.99
      Southwest                       $2.32           $1.99        $2.50

     Regional (Organic)             Wtd. Ave.          Low          High
      Northwest                       $5.00           $5.00        $5.00
      Southwest                        n.a.            n.a.         n.a.

     Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream
     Multiples Range - All Classes:               1.0000 - 1.1500

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