Fluid Milk and Cream — Western U.S.

March 25

California is in flush. Milk output is heavy, and processing facilities are running at or close to capacity. Milk handlers would like to move extra loads around, but freight is at a premium and these costs are hampering movement. Class I and Class II sales remain steady.

Class I demand is high in Arizona. Milk production is nearing peak, but output is well-balanced with bottling operations and other dairy manufacturers.

Class I orders in New Mexico are down a little after the pipeline refill of the last few weeks and spring breaks for educational institutions. Milk production is steady, and balancing plants are active. Spring holiday retail orders are keeping Class II demand strong.

Milk supply is ample in the Pacific Northwest, and processing plants are full and active. Current weather is providing good cow comfort for the milking herd. Dairy product manufacturers are pulling heavy volumes of milk, but Class I and Class II processing have decreased slightly.

Spot milk has tightened a little in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. While discounted loads are available in Idaho, industry contacts say there are fewer of them than usual. Manufacturers are running plants near capacity and milk supplies are in good balance with processing demand. Condensed skim loads are moving well through current contracts. In addition, balancing plants are very active, but industry contacts say supplies are well-matched with processing needs.

Western butter churns are attracting less cream than in recent weeks. Cream supply is heavy in the west, but industry contacts anticipate it will tighten as ice cream makers build stock heading toward summer. There has been interest in moving cream from the West into the Midwest and East over the last few weeks, but availability of trucks and drivers makes this difficult.

Cream multiples trended a little higher, with the top of the range moving up a few points.

Milk pooled on the California Order 51 totaled 1.837 billion pounds in February 2021. Class I utilization was 389.5 million pounds and accounted for about 21.2 percent of producer milk. The uniform price was $13.99, down $0.25 from January 2021, and $2.89 below the same month a year ago.