July 31 butter stocks totaled 170.2 million lbs., down 9% from June 30, and 42% less than July 2013, according to USDA’s Cold Storage report, released Aug. 22.

Total natural cheese stocks, at 1.06 billion lbs., were virtually unchanged from June 2014, but down 8% from July 2013. American cheese, at 660.4 million lbs., was up about 1% from June, but 6% less than a year earlier.

Final June stocks of butter and cheese were also reduced from last month's preliminary estimates.

In anticipation of the Cold Storage numbers, the CME spot butter price soared to a new record high on Friday, up 6.25¢ to $2.8225/lb. CME Cheddar blocks (+1.25¢) and barrels (+0.25¢) also rose.

At first glance, HighGround Dairy called the report bullish vs. market expectations.

Dave Kurzawski, FCStone, characterized the report as bullish for butter, but bearish on cheese.

“Today’s Cold Storage report saw butter stocks decrease to 170.2 million lbs., down 9.9% vs. May and down 42.5% vs. last year, Kurzawski noted. ”While a decline in stocks is typical from June into July, it was well beyond our expectations for 181.2 million lbs. We also remain below 2011 levels, and at our lowest inventory level since February. The spot and futures (butter) market direction has been relatively clear for some time, and this report will too little to diffuse the rally. We’d expect prices to open the week mostly higher come Sunday evening.”

Turning to cheese, Kurzawski said stocks came in slightly above expectations. “We would term this report bearish on cheese due to the fact that American cheese came in at 660.4 million lbs., well above our expectation for 649.1 million lbs. Sunday night may see some moderate weakness as a result of the report but participants will be eagerly awaiting the spot session Monday for price direction.”


Cattle on feed down 2%

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in U.S. feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 9.8 million head on Aug. 1, 2% less than a year earlier. July placements totaled 1.56 million head (1.50 million net), down 7% from a year earlier. July fed cattle marketings totaled 1.79 million, down 9% from a year ago and the lowest July total since recording started in 1996.

Source: USDA Cattle on Feed report


New Holland Sales Stables

Dairy replacement sales results from New Holland, Pa. on Aug. 20. Compared to last week, dairy cows sold mostly $100-$200 higher compared to a light test last week. Demand was good. Bred heifers sold mostly steady on a light test; demand was good and trade was active. Wednesday's supply included 131 fresh milking cows, 10 springing cows, 32 short bred cows, 25 springing heifers, 33 short-bred heifers, 37 open heifers, and 10 bulls. One hundred percent of reported supply Holsteins unless otherwise

noted. All sales sold on a per head basis.


Fresh cows

Supreme: 2400-3000

Approved: 1900-2300

Medium: 1400-1800

Common: 1050-1350


Springing cows (7-9 months)

Supreme: 2150 Individual

Approved: 1600-1925

Medium: 1300-1475


Bred Cows: (4-6 months)

Approved: 1500-1525 Few


Short Bred Cows: (1-3 months)

Supreme: 1600-1725

Approved: 1400-1575

Medium: 1200-1300


Springing heifers (7-9 months)

Supreme: 2050-2200

Approved: 1750-1850


Bred heifers (4-6 months)      

Supreme: 1825-2100

Approved: 1750-1775


Short bred heifers (1-3 months)

Supreme: 1800-1950

Approved: 1500-1675

Medium: 1250-1425


Open Heifers


300-600 lbs 500-650

600-900 lbs 1000-1200

900-1200 lbs 1300-1360

1200-1500 lbs 1300-1475



300-600 lbs 275-450

600-900 lbs 775-975

900-1200 lbs 1050-1260


Mammoth Cave Dairy Auction

Dairy replacement sales results from Smiths Grove, Ky., on Aug. 19:

(Holsteins, price per head, unless otherwise noted)


Springers: 2-3 years old, 5-8 months bred

Supreme: 1950-2275

Approved: 1450-1650

Medium: 1250-1425

Common: 975-1175


Fresh Milking Cows: 2-4 years old

Supreme: 1800-2250

Approved: 1550-1675

Medium: 1400-1435

Common: 1110-1275


Short Bred: 2-3 years old, 1-4 months bred

Supreme: 1525-1800

Approved: 1375-1425

Medium: 1200

Common: 950-1125


Open Heifers: (Supreme & Approved)

200-300 lbs. 475-625

300-400 lbs. 435-735

400-500 lbs. 800

500-600 lbs. 575-1025

600-700 lbs. 1135-1260


Holstein Heifers Calves: Small 140-190; Medium-Large 210-340.