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The University of Tennessee | Institute of Agriculture

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

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Milk Market Comments

By Andrew Griffith

April 28, 2017

Milk Production: Milk production in the 23 major states during March totaled 17.5 billion pounds, up 1.8% from March 2016. Production per cow for March averaged 2,012 pounds. The number of milk cows was 8.71 million head, up 15,000 head from February 2017. February production was revised down 0.2% to 15.6 billion pounds. For milk production in the top 5 producing states, California was down 2.9% from March a year ago; Wisconsin up 1.5%; Idaho down 1.0%; New York up 3.6%; and Texas up 16.4%. Other states with large production increases were New Mexico (9.0%), Colorado (7.3%), Kansas (6.6%), Michigan (3.5%), South Dakota (3.7%), and Pennsylvania (3.0%). The states reporting a large decline in production compared to March 2016 were Oregon (-4.0%), Washington (-3.3%), and Illinois (-1.2%).

Milk Price and Utilization: The Southeast Uniform milk price for March was $19.15, down $0.21 from February and $2.93 higher than March 2016. The Appalachian Uniform milk price was $19.06, down $0.03 from February and $3.19 higher than March 2016. March’s Class III price was $15.81, down $1.07 from February, and $2.07 higher than March a year ago. The Class IV price was down $1.27 from February to $14.32, and $1.58 higher than March 2016. The Class I Mover price for May is $15.20, down $0.85 from April. The milk/feed ratio for March was 2.39, 0.22 lower than February.
Southeast Class I utilization was 65.23%, down 3.25% from February, and 0.38% lower than March a year ago. The Uniform butterfat price was $2.4416, down 3.49 cents from last month and 14.71 cents higher than March 2016. The March Class I price was $20.70. April Class I price is $19.85. Appalachian Class I utilization was 69.75%, down 1.41% from February, and 2.52% higher than March a year ago. The Uniform butterfat price was $2.4420, down 3.46 cents from last month and 15.07 cents higher than March 2016. The March Class I price was $20.30.

Cheese Production and Stocks: Total cheese production in February was 942 million pounds, down 1.4% from a year ago while butter production was down 5.8% to 164 million pounds. Nonfat dry milk (NDM) production was down 0.1% compared to a year ago with total production at 140 million pounds while skim milk powder (SMP) production was down 0.4% to 40.0 million pounds compared to a year ago. Total cheese stocks at the end of March were up 8% from March a year ago and up 3% from the previous month while butter stocks were up 1% from last month and up 12% from a year ago.

Springer Prices and Cow Slaughter: At Smiths Grove, Kentucky on April 25, supreme springers and US approved springers were not well tested. Dairy cow slaughter in March was 271,100 head, up 17,900 head from February and 8,900 more than March 2016.