Friday: Blocks tumble

CME Group, Chicago, IL



Daily Cash Trading on Friday, April 4, 2014




















February 2014 dairy export values top $590 million

The value of U.S. dairy product exports were estimated at $592 million in February, topping $550 million for the 11th consecutive month, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce. February 2014 exports were unchanged from January, but up about 36% from the February 2013 total of $434 million.

At $233 million, the value of February 2014 imports was down 10% from January 2014 and down about 2.5% from February 2013. The February dairy trade surplus (exports minus imports) was $359 million.

Fiscal year 2014 (October 2013-February 2014) exports total $3.003 billion, up about 43% from the same period in record-setting FY ’13. FY ’14 imports total $1.394 billion, down about 1% from the same period in FY ’13. The FY ’14 dairy trade surplus stands at $1.609 billion.

At $80 million, February 2014 cheese imports were down 3% from January 2014 and down about 6% from February 2013. FY ’14 cheese imports total $517 million, unchanged from a year earlier.


February U.S. female dairy cattle exports steady

U.S. female replacement dairy cattle exports were steady in February, according to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service.

February exports were estimated at 3,797 head, down just 162 head from January. The January-February total, at 7,756 head, is the third-highest total to start the year in the past five years.

Mexico has been the dominant dairy replacement market so far in 2014, taking 3,591 head in February, for a two-month total of 5,071, or about 65% of all exported female dairy cattle.

Canada was second in February, at 195 head, leaving 11 head for the Dominican Republic. Past major markets of Russia and Turkey did not import any U.S. female dairy cattle during the month.


February U.S. alfalfa exports fall

Monthly exports of alfalfa hay slipped a little more in February, falling to the lowest level since July 2012, according to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service.

February 2014 U.S. alfalfa hay exports totaled 130,058 metric tons. China was the top foreign hay market for the month, at 48,332 metric tons (MT); followed by the Japan, at 36,154 MT; and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at 25,863 MT.

February 2014 U.S. exports of other hay, at 132,214 MT, also were down, dipping to the lowest level since April 2013. Japan was the leading market, at 73,739 MT; followed by South Korea, at 28,631 MT; and China, at 13,192 MT.


New Holland Sales Stables

Dairy replacement sales results from New Holland, Pa. on April 2:

  Compared to last week, dairy cows sold mostly $100-$200 higher. Demand was good. Quality better than previous week. Heifers traded mostly firm compared to a very light test last week. Demand was good. Prices are for Holsteins on a per-head basis unless otherwise noted.

Fresh Cows: $1900-$2750                   

Springing Cows: (7-9 months): $1600-$2050

Bred Cows: (4-6 months): $1475-$1950

Bred Cows: (1-3 months): $1200-$1400

Springing Heifers: (7-9 months): $1550-$2300

Bred Heifers: (4-6 months): $1450-$1925

Short Bred Heifers: (1-3 months): $1325-$1500

Open Heifers:

300-600 lbs: $625-$850

600-900 lbs: $1075-$1300

900-1200 lbs: $1225 (individ.)


AFBF Marketbasket Survey

Higher retail prices for several food items used to prepare breakfast, including bacon, eggs and bread, among other foods, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s latest Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey.

A total of 89 shoppers in 27 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in March. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items used to prepare one or more meals was $53.27, up $1.73 (3.5%) compared to a survey conducted a year ago.

Average retail milk prices (one-half gallon containers) identified in the quarterly survey included:

• regular milk, $2.46

• rBST-free milk, $3.87

• organic milk, $3.97

Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this marketbasket would be $8.52.


'MilkSplash' expanding milk flavoring market

MilkSplash™, an innovative new milk flavoring for parents who want their kids to drink more milk and make healthier beverage choices, launched in select Target stores, and will expand its presence nationally at Walmart and other retailers in April.

Created and marketed by North Carolina-based S&D Beverage Innovations, MilkSplash flavors include  Cocoa Loco, Sir Strawberry Swirl™, Orange Cream Dream, Cookies 'N Cream and Jammin' Banana.

"We created MilkSplash to give kids lots of wonderful options to flavor their milk because research shows nearly seven in 10 kids drink more milk when it's flavored – and we know that kids need to drink more milk," said Dr. Maya Zuniga, director of product innovation at S&D. "With milk consumption declining for decades, many children miss out on the recommended amount of milk and its essential nutrients, including three that are of most concern – calcium, vitamin D and potassium."