USDA reported earlier in the month, "Butter production was 121 million pounds, 9.7 percent below November 2008 but 6.9 percent above October 2009."
The World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimate, released on January 12, 2010 stated:
The milk production forecast is raised for 2010 reflecting the relatively slow pace of cow liquidation in late 2009. Commercial dairy exports for 2009 are adjusted reflecting stronger skim-basis sales, but slightly weaker fat-basis sales. Import forecasts are reduced for 2009. Trade forecasts are unchanged for 2010. Fat and skim-solids ending stocks are forecast higher for 2009. Ending stocks for 2010 are raised on a skim-solids basis but are lowered on a fat-basis. Forecasts of butter and cheese prices are lowered as milk production forecasts are raised. However, relatively strong international demand should support prices for nonfat dry milk (NDM) and whey. The 2010 Class III price is lowered from last month as lower expected cheese prices more than offset stronger whey prices. The Class IV price forecast for 2010 is raised from last month as stronger NDM prices more than offset weaker butter prices. The all milk price is reduced to $16.20 to $17.00 for 2010.
And one expert is predicting the possibility of NFDM/NDM moving to the government in the spring.