Fluid Milk and Cream - Western U.S
California milk volumes are reasonably balanced with current demand. Processing plants are busy with milk clearing schedules and are not taking any additional loads from outside the region. Milk production is mostly flat, but component levels are stronger. Class I sales are unchanged from a week ago. In Arizona, milk balancing is going well with most processing facilities running at full capacities or close to it. Milk output is growing seasonally, while remaining at levels that are manageable within the state. Weather is contributing to increased milk yield per cow. Class I requests are even. New Mexico Class III milk intakes grew due to increased cheese manufacturing. However, Class I inquiries declined while Class II demand stayed at the same levels as last week.
Shipments of milk to the Southeast increased slightly this week. Milk production is trending higher and holdovers are a bit above normal weekly level. Nonetheless, handlers are efficiently finding room for the excess loads. Pacific Northwest milk production is in good balance with processing needs. The school bottling pipeline is getting refilled following the winter holidays and more milk is moving back into processing channels. Manufacturers say they do not have any troubles getting the milk needed for their processing runs. Relatively clement weather has aided cow comfort. Milk handlers expect milk production to remain strong into the near future.
Strong milk production is currently getting absorbed by processors within the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Industry contacts suggest fewer loads are currently leaving the immediate area looking for homes. However, as milk intakes increase through the spring, industry contacts worry about milk flows stressing available processing capacity, especially in northern parts of the region. While there are several plans for additional processing facilities in Idaho, those plans may come too late for some of the farms that have faced three years of below breakeven milk prices.
Condensed skim supplies continue to be heavy in the West. Good volumes are still moving across state lines and prices are balanced with demand. Cream volumes in the West have bumped up, but not to the point of swamping processors. Loads are readily available to spot buyers at bargain prices. Therefore, butter makers are taking advantage of this opportunity by churning more cream for future usages.
Ice cream manufacturers are also taking some loads. Cream multiples for all usages dropped to .95-1.16 this week. National Retail Report Dairy ± Fluid Milk Summary Advertised Prices at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets ending during the period of 1/11/19 to 1/17/2019 Half Gallon, All Fat Tests Weighted Average Price National This Period Last Week Last Year Organic $3.84 $3.91 $3.88 Conventional $2.25 $2.46 $2.25 Regional (Conventional) Wtd. Ave. Low High Northwest n.a. n.a. n.a. Southwest n.a. n.a. n.a. Regional (Organic) Wtd. Ave. Low High Northwest $3.43 $2.50 $3.99 Southwest $4.53 $3.99 $4.99 Gallon, All Fat Tests Weighted Average Price National This Period Last Week Last Year Organic $5.65 $6.18 $5.53 Conventional $2.95 $2.50 $2.67 Regional (Conventional) Wtd. Ave. Low High Northwest $2.58 $1.99 $2.99 Southwest n.a. n.a. n.a. Regional (Organic) Wtd. Ave. Low High Northwest n.a. n.a. n.a. Southwest n.a. n.a. n.a. Western U.S., F.O.B. Cream Multiples Range - All Classes: 0.9500 - 1.1600