USDA’s World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, released last week, adjusted preliminary 2013 dairy product and milk prices to reflect December data, and revised 2014 price forecasts. 

For 2014, projected prices for cheese, butter and nonfat dry milk (NDM) were raised as export and domestic demand are expected to strengthen, but the forecast for dry whey is unchanged. The Class III price is raised due to the higher cheese prices and the Class IV price forecast reflects higher butter and NDM prices. The all milk price is forecast at $20.60-$21.40cwt. for 2014.

Dairy price forecasts 

Product Estimated
Class III ($/cwt)   17.44 17.99 17.80-18.60
Class IV ($/cwt)  16.01 19.05 19.80-20.70
All milk ($/cwt) 18.53 19.99 20.60-21.40
Cheese ($/lb.) 1.7076  1.7683 1.760-1.840
Butter ($/lb.) 1.5943 1.5451 1.515-1.625
NFDM ($/lb.) 1.3279 1.7066 1.805-1.865
Dry whey (¢/lb.) 59.35 59.02 0.550-0.580


Affecting cull cow prices, January cattle price projections for 2014 were raised from December’s estimate, even though the forecasts for beef production for both 2013 and 2014 were raised. Beef imports are unchanged for 2013, but are raised slightly for 2014. Beef exports are raised for both 2013 and 2014 as the pace of exports over the past several months has been strong. The 2013 steer price was estimated in at $125.89/cwt. The 2014 forecast is in a range of $129-$138/cwt., up $1-$2 from last month’s forecast. Prices are expected to be the strongest in the first and fourth quarters of 2014.

Source: USDA WASDE report, Jan. 10, 2014