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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

May 31, 2017

Milk Production: Milk production in the 23 major states during April totaled 17.2 billion pounds, up 2.0% from April 2016. Production per cow for April averaged 1,967 pounds. The number of milk cows was 8.72 million head, up 8,000 head from March 2017. March production was revised up 0.2% to 17.6 billion pounds. For milk production in the top 5 producing states, California was down 1.1% from April a year ago; Wisconsin up 0.6%; Idaho down 0.7%; New York up 3.9%; and Texas up 12.8%. Other states with large production increases were New Mexico (7.5%), Colorado (7.2%), Kansas (7.2%), Michigan (4.2%), South Dakota (3.8%), and Arizona (3.8%). The states reporting a large decline in production compared to April 2016 were Oregon (-4.1%) and Washington (-2.5%).

Milk Price and Utilization: The Southeast Uniform milk price for April was $17.97, down $1.18 from March and $1.63 higher than April 2016. The Appalachian Uniform milk price was $17.77, down $1.29 from March and $1.76 higher than April 2016. April’s Class III price was $15.22, down $0.59 from March, and $1.59 higher than April a year ago. The Class IV price was down $0.31 from March to $14.01, and $1.33 higher than April 2016. The Class I Mover price for June is $15.31, up $0.11 from May. The milk/feed ratio for April was 2.23, 0.16 lower than March.
Southeast Class I utilization was 59.97%, down 5.26% from March, and 4.32% lower than April a year ago. The Uniform butterfat price was $2.3992, down 4.24 cents from last month and 15.72 cents higher than April 2016. The April Class I price was $19.85. May Class I price is $19.00. Appalachian Class I utilization was 63.06%, down 6.69% from March, and 2.96% lower than April a year ago. The Uniform butterfat price was $2.4008, down 4.12 cents from last month and 15.82 cents higher than April 2016. The April Class I price was $19.45.

Cheese Production and Stocks: Total cheese production in March was 1.06 billion pounds, up 3.3% from a year ago while butter production was up 0.3% to 176 million pounds. Nonfat dry milk (NDM) production was down 7.2% compared to a year ago with total production at 160 million pounds while skim milk powder (SMP) production was up 30.0% to 52.7 million pounds compared to a year ago. Total cheese stocks at the end of April were up 10% from April a year ago and up 3% from the previous month while butter stocks were up 7% from last month and down 1% from a year ago.

Springer Prices and Cow Slaughter: At Smiths Grove, Kentucky on May 23, supreme springers sold for $1,450 to $1,550 while US approved springers were $1,300 to $1,400. Dairy cow slaughter in April was 228,100 head, down 43,000 head from March and 1,100 more than April 2016.