USDEC: China’s appetite keeps markets firm

Global milk production is on the rise, but the market – especially China – is easily absorbing supplies, according to the latest Global Dairy Market Outlook from the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Combined milk production/deliveries from the five major suppliers (EU-28, U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Argentina) was up 2.7% in the August-November period – an increase of 618,000 tons of milk per month.

Meanwhile, in the last four months of 2013, China imported a staggering 550,404 tons of milk powder, whey, cheese and butterfat – more than the purchases of Russia, Mexico, Japan and Algeria put together. This figure is up 74% from the year before. For the full year, imports were up 34% from 2012 and up 61% from 2011.

China’s appetite (and willingness to pay historically high prices) has squeezed out other buyers in recent months.

Source: USDEC


December retail prices mixed

U.S. average retail dairy product prices paid in December 2013 were mixed compared to the previous month and year, according to the U.S.  Department of Labor.

• Whole fluid milk prices averaged $3.50/gallon, up a penny from November 2013, but 8¢ less than December 2012.

• Process cheese averaged $4.35/lb., up about 3¢ from November and 9¢ more than a year earlier.

• Natural cheese averaged $5.39/lb. in December 2013, down 0.5¢ from November 2013, and down 48¢ from December 2012.

• Ice cream average $4.98 per half gallon, up about 9¢ from November, but about 2¢ less than a year earlier.

• Butter comparisons were not available.

Source: Dairy Market News


January Credit Managers' Index improves

The nation's Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) is on a roller coaster, but improved in January according to the National Association of Credit Management (NACM).

The November CMI hit a two-year high, followed by a December low that took the index back to summer levels. Now, January’s CMI rebounded to 57.3, the highest point in over a year.

THE CMI monitors "positive" and “negative” factors in U.S. manufacturing and service sectors. view the complete CMI report for January 2014 online.

Positive factors include sales, new credit applications and amount of credit extended. All posted gains in January.

Almost all negative factors improved, including rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collection, dollar amount beyond terms

For a full breakdown of the manufacturing and service sectors, in addition to tables and graphs, view the complete CMI report for January 2014 online. NACM and its network of affiliated associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information, education, products and services.


DFA acquires Maine’s Oakhurst

Maine's Oakhurst will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), it was announced Jan. 31.

Oakhurst will continue to operate independently, sourcing milk from 70 independent Maine farmers that currently supply the company. Processing and bottling will continue at the company’s Portland, Maine location.

The Bennett family, which has owned Oakhurst since 1921, and the existing management team will continue to manage the company’s day-to-day operations. John Bennett and Tom Brigham will continue in their role as co-presidents. 

 Source: DFA press release

Dean plans quarterly investor call

Dean Foods Company will host a live investor webcast of its fourth quarter and full year 2013 earnings conference call on Feb. 11, 9 a.m. (Eastern). Management will discuss the financial results, as well as comment on the forward outlook.


Land O'Lakes Sauté Express Sauté Starter wins award

Sauté Express® Sauté Starter by Land O’Lakes was awarded a 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Award.

The consumer-voted awards program honors new consumer products in the categories of Beauty, Food & Beverage, Health & Personal Care and Household.

Land O’Lakes’ newest cooking innovation, Sauté Express® Sauté Starter, is a first-of-its-kind seasoned butter and olive oil meal starter that can be used to cook and flavor any vegetable or protein—such as chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu—in one easy step. LAND O LAKES® Sauté Express® Sauté Starter helps families quickly prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less.

 Source: Land O’Lakes

Stonyfield official organic yogurt sponsor of Boston Marathon

Runners in the 118th Boston Marathon will have new fuel powering their strides: Organic yogurt maker Stonyfield will be an official sponsor.

Through Race Weekend, Stonyfield ambassadors will appear around the course handing out samples of Stonyfield Greek Yogurt.

As part of its sponsorship, the New England company is forming Team Stonyfield, allowing qualified runners who missed the entry cutoff for the historic race to participate. Runners looking to join Team Stonyfield can enter for the chance to win a spot at

Source: Stonyfield