National Dairy Producers Organization Current Issues & News

U.S. Dairy Exports Continue Their Record Run

U.S. export volumes in February were the highest in six months (on a daily-average basis), led by strong sales of cheese, whey proteins and butterfat.

U.S. suppliers shipped 160,510 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in February, up 19% from last year. Total value of all exports was $585.2 million, up 37% from a year ago. On a daily-average basis, this is the highest figure ever.

Cheese exports in February were 31,264 tons, up 44% from a year ago and the most ever on a daily-average basis. Shipments to Mexico were up 46% vs. prior year, while Japan (+58%) and South Korea (+43%) posted large gains. In addition, exports to Saudi Arabia nearly tripled. Read More

As Milk Prices Keep Rising, Should You Stay Away From Dairy Companies?

Despite the increase in U.S. output for the fifth consecutive year, milk prices are not dropping. Class III milk futures, which is the variety used to make cheese, are up 23% this year. What is going on? Although it's true that domestic milk production is growing, exports have also been increasing -- and at a greater rate. In fact, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, they now account for 15.5% of sales, compared with 5% a decade ago. Prices are also on the rise, as U.S. January dairy exports' value rose 35% year over year, holding a quantity increase of 19%.. Read More

American cheese exports hit record highs thanks to Asian demand

The price of U.S. cheese has reached a record high, due in part to its demand, in the form of pizza and junk food, in emerging markets like South Korea. South Korea imported 49,000 metric tons of cheese in 2013, 25% more than the previous year, according to data from the U.S. Dairy Export Council. In dollar terms, U.S. cheese exports to South Korea rose from $276 million in 2012 to $348 million in 2013, surpassing exports from Japan and Canada in 2010. That increase contributed to the overall increase in global cheese exports from the U.S. in the last six months of 2013.

The size of South Korea's pizza delivery market was worth about $1.5 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor data, just behind Japan's $1.6 billion, which has a larger population. China's pizza market is worth about $2.4 billion, and still has room to grow rapidly. But in South Korea, the cheese is not just going on pizza. Cheese is also added to traditional dishes such as fried pork cutlets, ramen and budae jjigae, and a "Korean army stew." Read More

Dairymen enjoy record-high milk prices

Despite record-high milk prices and lower feed costs, dairymen in the western U.S. aren't making any moves to expand production beyond slowing cull rates. Instead, they are focused on recovering from the extreme downturn in 2009 and rebuilding equity.

Record-high milk prices have gone a long way in easing the stress on dairies in the western U.S., allowing dairymen to do deferred maintenance, pay down debt and maybe put away some cash, but dairymen still have concerns. Prices are really good and should be for the next couple of months, but feed costs have been steadily moving up, said Jack Davis, owner of IdaCrest Farms in Kuna, Idaho.

Corn is back up over $5 a bushel and soybeans are at or near record high in the $12 a bushel range. With drought-stricken California dairymen already looking for hay in Idaho, alfalfa prices are likely to be above $200 a ton, he said. - See more at. Read More

Dairy recovery steady

Curry County dairyman Albin Smith said there were many days over the last four years when he wasn’t sure his business was going to make it.... Read More

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