April U.S. female dairy cattle exports decline

Global demand of U.S. dairy products was strong, but demand for U.S. female replacement dairy cattle slowed in April. USDA’s Foreign Ag Service said 1,313 female dairy replacements were exported in  April, the lowest monthly total since January 2013. The January-April total is 14,824 head, about the same as January-April 2013, but well behind the record-setting pace of 2012.

Mexico remained the dominant dairy replacement market so far in 2014, taking 1,195 head in April, for a three-month total of 8,677, or about 58% of all exported female dairy cattle.

Canada was second in April, at just 46 head, followed by Barbados and Guyana, at 37 and 35, respectively.


April U.S. hay exports weaker

U.S. alfalfa hay exports totaled 152,637 metric tons in April, the third-lowest total since June 2013, according to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service. China was the top foreign hay market for the month, at 62,573 metric tons (MT); followed by Japan, at 36,660 MT; and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at 27,705 MT.

April 2014 U.S. exports of other hay, at 124,215 MT, was the lowest monthly total dating back nearly three years. Japan was the leading market, at 68,256 MT; followed by South Korea, at 28,005 MT; and China, at 13,031 MT.


Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending May 24: 48,400 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 1,172,200 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -138,000 head

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

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


CME daily closing prices

Daily CME Cash Trading on Thursday, June 5, 2014











Cheddar barrels



Cheddar blocks



NFDM Grade A



Butter Grade AA




Weekly California NFDM prices

California NFDM average price


Week ending

Avg. price ($/ lb.)

7-day sales (lb.)

May 30



May 23



May 16



May 9



May 2




U.S. dairy exports up 35% in January-April

U.S. dairy exports remained strong in April, coming in slightly below the record volume and value levels established in March, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

U.S. suppliers shipped 184,501 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose in April, up 8% from last year. Total value of all exports was $688.5 million, up 26%.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. sales in April went to the top four customers: Southeast Asia (+17% vs. a year ago), Mexico (+12%), Middle East/North Africa (+52%) and China (+32%). Read more


FAO May dairy price index down

Global food prices declined in May 2014, with dairy prices helping lead the way, according to the latest United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index.

The May FAO Dairy Price Index dropped 5.0% from April, a second consecutive sharp month-to-month decline. The market for dairy commodities is readjusting following a period of high prices in 2013 and early 2014, caused by limited export supplies. In recent months, the production outlook has improved and, in general, buyers are purchasing only for immediate needs, in the expectation that prices may fall further. Consequently, average prices for all dairy commodities declined during the month. Read more


New Holland Sales Stables

Dairy replacement sales results from New Holland, Pa. on June 4:

 Compared to last week, a good offering of dairy cows sold steady on good demand. Bred heifers sold weak on a very light test. Demand was moderate. Trade was active. Wednesday's supply included 78 fresh milking cows, 23 springing cows, 35 short bred cows, 38 springing heifers, 9 short bred heifers, 40 open heifers, and 8 bulls. Prices are for Holsteins on a $-per-head basis unless otherwise noted.


Fresh Cows

Supreme: 2300-2700

Approved: 1850-2200

Medium: 1400-1800

Common: 1050-1300


Short bred cows (1-3 months)

Supreme: 1700 Individual

Medium: 1450-1500


Bred Cows: (4-6 months):

Supreme: 2150 Individual

Approved: 1425-1750


Springing cows (bred 7-9 months)

Supreme: 2000-2050

Approved: 1600-1800

Medium: 1275-1350


Springing heifers (7-9 months)

Supreme: 1950-2400

Approved: 1500-1750

Medium: 1300-1450

Common: 1225-1300


Bred heifers (4-6 months)      

Medium: 1300-1475


Short bred heifers (1-3 months)

Approved: 1600-1700

Common: 750-950


Open Heifers


300-600 lbs 500-550

600-900 lbs 900-1000

900-1200 lbs 1175-1310


300-600 lbs 375-400

600-900 lbs 650-850

900-1200 lbs 1000-1125