WASDE Lowers Production And Price Estimates

Yesterdays WASDE report has milk production forecasts for both 2018 and 2019  lowered from last month on slower than anticipated growth in milk per cow and lower cow numbers. Although tempered by lower expected feed costs, lower milk prices will likely weaken producer margins, resulting in lower cow numbers and slower growth in milk per cow. USDA’s Cattle report, to be released on July 20th, will provide a midyear estimate of dairy cow and dairy replacement heifer inventories.

For 2018, the fat basis import forecast is raised from the previous month on higher imports of butterfat products. Fat basis imports are unchanged for 2019. The 2018 fat basis export forecast is unchanged from the previous month but is raised for 2019 as the U.S. is expected to be price competitive and higher expected exports of butterfat products will more than offset expected declines in cheese exports. Skim-solids basis import forecasts for 2018 and 2019 are unchanged from the previous month. However, skim-solids basis exports for 2018 and 2019 are reduced from the previous month primarily on lower expected exports of skim milk powder and whey products as China’s tariffs on certain U.S. dairy products hampers exports to some extent.

The 2018 butter, cheese, nonfat dry milk (NDM), and whey price forecasts are reduced from the previous month. Forecasts are reduced for cheese, NDM, and whey prices for 2019 as cheese stocks will remain large and prices for NDM and whey will have to remain competitive with competing exporters. However, the 2019 butter price is raised as stocks are worked down.

The 2018 and 2019 Class III price and Class IV price forecasts are lowered from last month. The 2018 all milk price is forecast at $15.95 to $16.25 and the price for 2019 is $16.25 to $17.25 per cwt.

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