CME Group, Chicago, IL




Daily Cash Trading on Thursday, April 3, 2014





















Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending March 22: 58,300 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 709,900 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -66,600 head

Highlights: For the week, 32% came from USDA Zone 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH & WI); 25% came from USD Zone 9 (AZ, CA, HI & NV).

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


February cheese, butter production down

USDA released its monthly Dairy Products report on April 3, summarizing February 2014 production estimates. More milk went into the dryer during the month, with nonfat dry milk (human consumption) estimated at 141 million lbs., up 2.3% from the same month a year earlier.

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 851 million lbs. in February 2014, 10.7% less than January 2014 and 0.6% less than February 2013. Y-T-D production stands at 1.8 billion lbs., down about 0.7% from the same period a year ago.

Butter production was 166 million lbs., 9.1% less than January 2014 and down 4.6% from February 2013. Y-T-D production stands at 348 million lbs., down about 3.8% from the same period a year ago.

FC Stone termed the report neutral to slightly bearish for butter; bullish for cheese; bearish for nonfat dry milk and neutral for dry whey.


FAO March dairy price index down

Global dairy prices were down in March 2014, the first decline in four months, according to the latest United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index. The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of five food commodities – cereal, vegetable oil, dairy, meat and sugar.

The March FAO Dairy Price Index dropped 2.5% from February. Demand for all dairy products has been affected by reduced purchases by China and uncertainty over trade with the Russian Federation. Additionally, an extended season in New Zealand and a good start to the dairy year in the northern hemisphere have meant that export supplies have increased. The dairy commodity subject to the sharpest price drop was whole milk powder, reflecting reduced buying interest from China, in particular.

The FAO Meat Price Index rose 1.5% from February, driven primarily by beef.

Overall, the FAO Food Price Index was up 2.3% from February and the highest level since May 2013. Sugar and vegetable oils rose by 7.9% and 4.5%, respectively, with cereals up 5.2% to the highest level since August 2013.


Pennsylvania March IOFC improves

Penn State University’s measure of income over feed costs (IOFC) rose 1.9% in March, according to the latest Dairy Outlook report from economist Jim Dunn. At $12.06/cow/day, the March IOFC is up 22¢/day from February, and the highest value since calculations began in January 2000.

IOFC reflects daily gross milk income less feed costs for an average cow producing 65 lbs. of milk per day. Although both Pennsylvania milk and feed prices rose in March, the milk price increase more than offset a 3.3% gain in feed prices.

The average cost to feed a cow producing 65 lbs. of milk per day was $5.16/day, up 16¢ from February, but 90¢ less than March 2013.

The March 2014 Pennsylvania all-milk price of $26.50/cwt. is the highest on record, up 60¢ from February and up $5.80/cwt. from March 2013.

Measured another way, feed costs per hundredweight of milk produced averaged $7.94/cwt. in March, up 26¢ from February. With the higher milk price, the milk margin over feed costs was $18.56/cwt., up 34¢/cwt. from February 2014 and up $7.19/cwt. from March 2013.

Dunn’s forecast of the average 2014 Pennsylvania all-milk price is $24.19/cwt., which would be up $2.70 (12.6%) from 2013’s estimated price of $21.48/cwt.

To read Dunn’s latest Dairy Outlook report, click here.


Mammoth Cave Dairy Auction

Dairy replacement sales results from Smiths Grove, Ky., on April 1:

(Holsteins (supreme and approved, unless otherwise noted:

Springers (2-3 years old, 5-8 months bred): $1425-$2150

Short Bred (2-3 years old, 1-4 months bred): $1425-$1525

Fresh cows (2-4 years old): $1400-$1975      


Open Heifers:

200-300 lbs.: $310-$400

300-400 lbs.: $385-$600

400-500 lbs.: $570-$735

500-600 lbs.: $550-$925

600-700 lbs.: $745-$1060

700-800 lbs.: $1025-$1100


Holstein heifer calves (small): $80-$130 per head

(Medium and large): $140-$310 per head


Idaho Producers Livestock Marketing Association

Dairy replacement sales results from Jerome, Ida., on March 20:

Springers (top 150): $2000 with top of $2550

Fresh heifers: $1210-$2125

Short bred: $1190-$1390

Open heifers

   (500-800 lbs.): $148-$151/cwt.

Heifer calves: $115-$136/cwt.


Prairie Farms partners with Chicago White Sox on 12-scoop banana split sundae

Just in time for the 2014 MLB Season, Prairie Farms Dairy and the Chicago White Sox have partnered to create a 3-lb., 12- scoop banana split sundae served in a full-size White Sox batting helmet.

The sundae’s foundation is four scoops each of Prairie Farms vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. It’s drizzled with caramel, strawberry sauce and chocolate syrup and includes two bananas, whipped cream and cherries. The super-sized sundae will be sold at concession stands throughout the ballpark.

In addition to soft serve and hard-pack ice cream, Prairie Farms single-serve milk and ice cream novelties, including new Moon Pie and UFO sandwiches, are available at restaurants, concession stands and food carts throughout U.S. Cellular Field during White Sox games.



WMMB in search of next Great Grilled Cheese

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) is kicking off April, National Grilled Cheese Month, with the launch of their third annual Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown contest.  The contest, which ends May 12, includes a $10,000 grand prize.

The contest invites grilled cheese fans to submit original recipes featuring at least one Wisconsin Cheese, along with photos.  Recipes will be judged by a panel of professional food bloggers, including Grilled Cheese Social, Foodie Crush, and bell’alimento.

WMMB’s Grilled Cheese Academy website was recently updated with an expanded recipe gallery. For more information, or to enter the contest, visit