Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

March 18

Milk output in California is steady to slightly flat year over year, but output is following typical seasonal patterns. Despite this, output is surpassing demand, and spot load sales are limited as it is difficult for milk sale outlets to find available open capacity.

Bottling remains steady. Flush is early and industry contacts are curious to see how long this persists and how fast milk production increases.

Arizona milk production is approaching peak output levels. Intakes are fairly well-balanced between dairy manufacturing and bottling demand. Class I sales have increased from previous years.

Milk production in New Mexico has resumed typical seasonal patterns and is approaching flush. Dairy manufacturing and balancing plants are active.

Plenty of milk is available in the Pacific Northwest and milk components have been high. Milk intakes are well balanced with milk production, in part through the continuance of over base production programs. Class I and Class II sales are doing well. Bottling demand has stayed strong.

The mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado are seeing strong milk production levels and there is an abundance of milk in the region. Idaho is a net exporter of milk and continues to push a few excess loads into surrounding states at discounts of $4-5 under Class IV.

As pockets of Colorado continue to dig out from heavy snowfall over the weekend, road closures in the state created some trucking disruptions, but dairy farm operations were minimally impacted.

Annual contract condensed skim sales remain steady. However, with limited local demand in the southwest, spot condensed skim loads are moving across the western region looking for homes. Lots of cream is available. Class II demand is strong and building. Some ice cream, sour cream and cream cheese manufacturers are asking for more than contracted volumes.

In addition, western butter makers are pulling good cream volumes for the churns. Industry contacts report that the top of the cream multiples range dropped a few points this week, but they expect to see multiples increase over the next few weeks.