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Fluid milk and cream review — West

Several California manufacturers continue to move some loads of condensed skim out-of-state as a way to deal with maintenance/repair downtimes.

Published on February 5, 2018 3:40PM


(USDA Market News)

Feb. 1

California milk output continues its seasonal increase. Milk supplies are bountiful, and processors are managing accordingly any excess loads.

Reports suggest that milk yield has increased above forecasted volumes. Several manufacturers continue to move some loads of condensed skim out-of-state as a way to deal with maintenance/repair downtimes.

However, they have a difficult time finding the required transportation needed for milk hauling. In addition, a number of plants that would normally take condensed skim are full.

Various dairy farmers also say that they are having a hard time finding the labor they need. Arizona milk output is up this week. Milk loads available for processing are also on the rise.

As so, manufacturing plants are working at full capacity, but seem to not have enough processing capacity to clear all the farm milk. Some of them are anxious about how they will manage the milk during the flush season which is getting close.

Class I intakes are steady, but Class IV production is increasing. New Mexico milk production is well balanced. Class I, II and III intakes are trending higher. Due to minor repair/maintenance projects, milk is moving accordingly between facilities as needed.

Pacific Northwest milk is meeting expectations. After a dismal winter in parts of the region last year, industry contacts say milk production per cow is stronger this season. So far, this winter has been mild and conducive to cow comfort. Intakes are starting to climb slightly.

Manufacturers report milk supplies are in balance with processing needs. Bottling demand is steady.

In the mountain states of Colorado, Utah and Idaho, milk production is steady. Industry contacts report that added capacity in the southern part of the region and a little stronger draw from some Class II manufacturers has helped balance supplies with demand, at least for the near term.

There are some concerns, however, that as milk production increases through the spring and early summer, the deluge of milk may likely place added pressure on farms and processors, especially in the northern parts of the region.

The western condensed

skim market is lackluster. In order to reduce the milk at some facilities, loads of condensed skim are moving at discounted prices.

Condensed skim is also being actively dried. Cream sales in the West are steady to lower.

Butter production has increased because some manufacturers are clearing more cream to the churns.

A couple of producers report having to turn down helping other plants process their cream due to the lack of processing capacities. Cream multiples for all usages are lower at 1.00 - 1.10.

According to the DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1,

the national weighted average advertised price for one gallon of milk is $2.82, up $0.43 from last week, and up $0.27 from a year ago. The weighted average regional price in the Southwest is $2.96, with a price range of $1.89-$3.99.

No advertised prices were reported in the Northwest this week.


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