Thursday, August 5, 2010

Milk Production Slowing in East

It has been hot - very hot. The latest report on milk in the East is telling:

Milk production in the Northeast and Southeastern parts of the U.S. is
declining and in many areas dropping quite sharply. Hot temperatures, and in
instances near record setting temperatures, are the most significant factor in
the milk decline. Reports continue to indicate that solids content and
butterfat levels on incoming milk are lower than usual for this time of the
season. Milk handlers state that milk volumes are generally sufficient to
currently maintain bottling and processing schedules, but will not be
sufficient in a few weeks once school bottling programs resume. Milk is
starting to enter the Southeast from Northern areas this week. For the first
time this season, 35 loads of milk entered the Southeast, but did not flow as
far south as Florida yet. Florida milk handlers did not ship any volumes out
this week which was the first also for the season. Milk handlers state that
for the next 4 - 6 weeks, it will be very interesting to see what volumes of
milk will be needed to supplement shortages. At the current pace of milk
production declines, some are speculating that imports will be significantly
heavier this year. Cream markets are firm as prices continue to increase.
Cream suppliers and handlers are stating that there is basically no cream
available for sale. Some cream buyers are questioning what impact the recent
CWT bonus award for 1,700 MT of domestic butter for export will have on an
already tight butterfat supply. The shipment of this butter will be from now
through the end of November, when butterfat demand is typically at high levels
anyway. Often export butter is 82% butterfat versus domestic 80% which will
further absorb limited cream supplies. Condensed skim markets are generally
steady with a significant portion of condensed clearing the market versus
headed to the dryer.

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