Butter price was on fire this week with buyers aggressively looking to product but having a difficult time finding willing sellers.
The result was butter price increasing 30.50 cents moving to $2.37 and the highest price since Oct. 14. There were just five loads traded. There is no shortage of supply, but those that had been waiting for a price decline had to step up and chase price higher.
Block cheese price this week settled at $1.74, up 4.75 cents with four loads traded. Barrels closed at $1.6950, down 0.25 cents with 16 loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk increased 9.50 cents, closing at 78.75 cents with 21 loads traded.
Strong milk output
July milk production was up 1.2 percent on their monthly milk production report released yesterday. After one month of production below 1 percent, it came back up again. Milk production per cow was up 12 pounds over last year for both the 23 states and the U.S.
Cow numbers in the top 23 states increased 2,000 head from June and are up 47,000 head from a year ago. U.S. cow numbers were up 1,000 head to a total herd of 9.32 million head, 54,000 more than last year.
Of the top 23 states, there were only four states showing declines of milk production for the month. New Mexico was down 4.2 percent; California was down 3.3 percent; Oregon was down 2.3 percent and Texas was down 1.2 percent. The other states were higher with South Dakota again leading the charge up 12.3 percent followed by Michigan being up 6.3 percent, Wisconsin up 5.3 percent and Minnesota up 4.2 percent. The rest of the top 23 states showed gains less than 4.0 percent.
It is interesting to note that dairy cattle slaughter in July totaled 238,600 head. This was 6,600 head more than a year ago and 17,100 head more than June. At the same time, dairy cattle numbers are holding or increasing depending on the month. Even though slaughter is higher, there are sufficient replacements waiting to fill the stalls.
Cheese stocks increase
Cheese inventories in July increased from the previous month in all categories while Swiss cheese stocks remain lower than last year. American cheese stocks reached 698.3 million pounds, up 12.5 million pounds or 2 percent from June and up 6 percent from last year.
Swiss cheese stocks totaled 21.6 million pounds, up 768,000 pounds or 4 percent from June, but down 12 percent from last year. Other cheese stocks increase to 445.2 million pounds, up 6.8 million pounds or 2 percent from June, but were up 20 percent from last year. This put total cheese stocks at 1.162 billion pounds, an increase of 20.2 million pounds or 2 percent from June and up 10 percent from a year ago.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported butter inventories declined 1.5 million pounds totaling 254.5 million pounds in July. This was a decline of 1 percent from June but remains 41 percent above a year earlier. The decline was moderate and seasonal while at the same time inventory is substantially above a year ago.
Global Dairy Trade prices jump
Global Dairy Trade auction prices were able to post higher prices in most cases. Anhydrous milk fat jumped 26.6 percent to $2,724 per metric ton or $1.24 per pound. Butter price increased 10.8 percent to $2,541 per metric ton or $1.14.
Buttermilk powder fell 13.8 percent to $1,400 per metric ton or 64 cents per pound. Cheddar cheese price increased 4.4 percent to $2,778 per metric ton or $1.26 per pound. Lactose declined 7.8 percent to $502 per metric ton or 23 cents per pound.
Rennet Casein increased 3.0 percent to $5,441 per metric ton or $2.47 per pound. Skim milk powder gained 8.5 percent to $1,521 per metric ton or 69 cents per pound. Whole milk powder jumped 19.1 percent to $1,856 per metric ton or 84 cents per pound. The trade weighted average increased 14.8 percent and the first increase after 10 consecutive auctions showing declines.
Agricultural Marketing Service prices
For the week ending Aug. 19, Agricultural Marketing Service prices were mostly higher. Prices for 40-pound Cheddar blocks increased 2.6 cents to $1.71. The price for 500-pound barrels, adjusted to 38 percent moisture, averaged $1.74, up 2.6 cents.
USDA grade AA butter averaged $1.99 for the week, up 4.8 cents. Nonfat dry milk averaged 75.8 cents, up 1.2 cents. Dry whey averaged 34.4 cents, down 1.1 cents.
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