Milk production increase slows to a crawl in June
Possibly foreshadowing a downturn in milk production for July compared to a year ago, the report issued late last week for milk production in June showed an increase of one percent in the top 23 states (.9 percent for the country as a whole) compared to June of 2011.
Although the Midwest was in a grips of a late June heat wave that curtailed milk production, it was the Pacific Coast states that exerted the most influence on the monthly statistics.
California posted an increase of only 10 million pounds or .3 percent compared to June of 2011 while en route to its production of 3.521 billion pounds in June of this year while Washington had no change and Oregon was up by .9 percent.
Wisconsin ran well ahead of the country with a 2.5-percent increase for a total production of 2.256 billion pounds for June.
Unless revised downward in the final report, this would break the state's previous record for June set in 2010 by 10 million pounds.
Percentage increases compared to a year ago for June included 5.5 in Colorado despite the prevalence of wild fires there, 5.2 in Florida, 5.1 in Utah, 5 in Ohio, and 4.8 in Indiana.
States with decreases were Texas at 2.2 percent, New Mexico at 1.9 percent, Pennsylvania at 1.9 percent, Iowa at 1.4 percent, and Minnesota at .3 percent.
The average milk per cow for June in the top 23 states was up by seven pounds - to 1,827 - compared to June of 2011.
California was down by 10 pounds by 1,975, Wisconsin was up by 35 pounds to 1,775, New Mexico and Texas were both down by 65 pounds to 2,035 and 1,785 respectively, and Ohio was up by 55 pounds to 1,630.
Cow numbers in the top 23 states were up by 57,000 from a year ago for a total of 8.507 million. But the total was down by 14,000 head from May of this year.
In the June to June cow number comparisons, California was up by 14,000 head to 1.783 million, Michigan was up by 12,000 to 376,000, Wisconsin was up by 6,000 to 1.271 million, Pennsylvania was down by 7,000 to 535,000, and Indiana was up by 5,000 to 176,000.
In Wisconsin, the July 1 list of 11,482 dairy herds licensed to ship milk into the commercial market was a decline of 36 from June 1 and of 536 from July 1 of 2011.
With the state's total of approximately 1.271 million dairy cows, the average size of a dairy herd in the state has risen to nearly 111 head.
Commodity markets for Cheddar cheese on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have turned quiet with no price change since Thursday, July 19.
On Wednesday of this week, there was no activity in that market as prices remained at $1.7175 per pound for Cheddar blocks and $1.6950 for Cheddar barrels.
The AA butter spot market, however, was busy on Wednesday with the sale of four carloads, one unfilled bid to buy, and an uncovered offer to sell two carloads. The price rose by 3.75 cents per pound to close at the year's high of $1.66 per pound.
Non-fat dry milk spot market prices rose early this week and did not change on Wednesday during one unfilled bid each for Grade A and Grade Extra. The day's closing prices are also at the year's high of $1.3750 per pound for Grade A and $1.30 for Grade Extra.
Dry whey futures prices continued to trade in positive territory on Wednesday of this week. Closing prices were in the upper 50s (cents per pound) through February of 2013 and in the high 40s through December of 2013.
Class III milk futures prices, however, posted red ink numbers for August 2012 through June of 2013. The monthly decreases ranged up to 18 cents per hundred.
With one trading week remaining, the July futures stood at $16.68 per hundred.
At Wednesday's close, prices for nearby months were $17.71 per hundred for August, $18.91 for September, $18.88 for October, $18.78 for both November and December, and holding in the lower half of the $18s and very high $17s per hundred for all of 2013.
The Class I fluid milk national base price for August is $16.55 per hundred. This is an increase from $15.51 for July.
Cooperatives Working Together has accepted a package of 18 bids from Bongard's Creamery, Foremost Farms, Darigold Cooperative, and Dairy Farmers of America.
The bids were for assistance on the export of 4.548 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and 220,462 pounds of butter to countries in Asia, Central America, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Deliveries are scheduled from July through December.