Weekly ethanol production, corn use

Ethanol production data for the week ending Feb. 21:

Ethanol production: 38.01 million gallons/day

Corn used: 13.72 million bushels/day

DIstillers grains production: 90,043 metric tons/day

Source: Renewable Fuels Association


Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending Feb. 15: 57,800 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 411,600 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -41,300 head

Highlights: Midwest culling as a percentage of the U.S. total picked up. For the week, 31% came from USDA Zone 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH & WI); 26% came from USD Zone 9 (AZ, CA, HI & NV).

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


2013 commercial disappearance outpaced milk marketings by 4.8 billion lbs.

Commercial disappearance of milk in all dairy products surpassed U.S. dairy farmer milk marketings by 4.84 billion lbs. in 2013 – the highest level in nine years – according to USDA’s latest Dairy Data report. While the margin helps explain current high milk prices, large dairy product inventories and imports limited the full impact.

Commercial disappearance of milk in all dairy products for the year was estimated at 205.10 billion lbs., up 3.1% from the year before, while 2013 farmer milk marketings totaled 200.25 billion lbs., up just 0.4% from 2012. Cumulative milk supply totals for 2013 (beginning stocks, imports and marketings) totaled 216.27 billion lbs., up 1.0% from 2012.

At the end of December 2013, ending commercial stocks totaled 11.17 billion lbs., down about 1.02 billion lbs. compared to December 2012, and down 5.76 billion lbs. from the peak in May 2013.

December: Commercial disappearance of milk used in all dairy products during December 2013 totaled 17.08 billion lbs., 3.4% more than December 2012, and about 375 million lbs. more than total U.S. farmer milk marketings for the month. While commercial disappearance surpassed milk marketings for a seventh consecutive month, the margin is shrinking.

Farmer milk marketings for December 2013 totaled 16.71 billion lbs. Adding to available supplies, beginning commercial stocks totaled 11.27 billion lbs., and imports for the month totaled 279 million lbs.


China’s powder buying spree

The relentless dairy powder buying spree China has not only carried over into 2014, it blew away very lofty volumes from 12 months ago, according to Eric Meyer, president of HighGround Trading Group’s Dairy Division.

China imported an extraordinary amount of milk powder last month. At 124,900 metric tons, whole milk powder imports grew by 48,088 metric tons (106 million lbs.) versus January 2013 and are 88,416 metric tons (195 million lbs.) higher than January 2012.

To put January’s China WMP import number into perspective, 124,900 metric tons represents 20% of China’s import volume for all of 2013.

The draw on New Zealand’s incremental milk supplies to meet China’s needs has put a strain on other products they have capacity to make, creating a shortage of fat and protein products (SMP, AMF, butter, cheese, whey proteins, casein, etc.) that global buyers must find elsewhere. Thus far, global milk supply growth has barely kept up with global demand and left other commodity stocks drastically reduced.

China’s need to feed a hungry nation and make up for its own supply shortcomings are the leading force behind the bullish tone of the global dairy market. Until China’s milk powder import volumes slow dramatically from these levels, global dairy commodity prices will remain sharply above average as the pace of milk production growth has no match for this kind of draw on available product. Read more


New Holland Sales Stables

Dairy replacement sales results from New Holland, Pa. on Feb. 26:

Compared to last week, dairy cows sold mostly $100-$200 higher. Demand was good. Heifers traded mostly steady compared to a very light test last week. Demand was good. Prices are for Holsteins on a per head basis.


Fresh Cows: $1800-$2500                   

Short Bred Cows: (1-3 months): $1500-$1750

Springing Cows: (7-9 months): $1575-1825


Springing Heifers: (7-9 months): $1400-$1800

Bred Heifers: (4-6 months): $1400-$1650

Short Bred Heifers: (1-3 months): $1225-$1525


Open Heifers:

300-600 lbs: $500-$525

600-900 lbs: $700-$950

900-1200 lbs: $1185-1250