In California, milk processors report that milk output has reached the peak of the spring flush and should start to go down soon. Processing plants continue to process at full capacity.
Class I demand is back to normal as educational institutions reopened after the spring break. Some loads of milk are moving from California to Nevada to find processing homes.
In Arizona, although temperatures are warming up little by little, milk output is strong following seasonal trends. Industry contacts report that Arizona is at the peak of the spring flush. Some manufacturers are sending milk loads to California to help out with balancing.
With schools being back in session, Class I intakes increased compared to last week. New Mexico milk production slightly increased this week. Plants are running at or near full capacity. Class I and II sales are steady to slightly down while Class III intakes increased. Repair/maintenance workloads at some Class III producing plants caused milk redistribution to other Class III plants. Milk holdovers are higher, but still manageable.
In the Pacific Northwest, milk production is trending higher, following seasonal trends. Some industry contacts say this is the beginning of the spring flush that will continue to climb through early May. Manufacturers report no shortage of milk or cream. Bottlers and processors are busy handling the early swells of milk within the region. A few manufacturers suggest a little added heat could spur on ice cream demand and also help balance milk volumes.
Milk production in the mountain states of Idaho, Utah and Colorado is steady to higher. Manufacturers report there is plenty of milk for most processing needs. There are a few distressed loads floating around the region, however, the number of those loads seems to be dependent on the ability of some manufacturers to take in a few extra loads of milk.
This week, slight increases in processing schedules at several plants helped alleviate a little bit of the pressure.
In the Western dairy market, condensed skim is plentiful. Many loads are clearing into nonfat dry milk. Western cream demand is steady. Ice cream manufacturers are taking on more loads. Cream supplies are not flooding the market as they were a few months ago. However, supplies are still abundant.
A number of butter makers report not buying extra cream because they have enough. Others are churning more butter to clear some of the cream. Multiples range from 1.00 to 1.24.
According to the DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of March 30-April 5, the national weighted average advertised price for one gallon of milk is $3.29, up $1.05 from last week, and up $0.81 from a year ago. The weighted average regional price in the Southwest is $3.49. The weighted average regional price in the Northwest is $3.75.
According to the NASS Dairy Products report, hard ice cream production in the West region for February 2018 is 9.9 million gallons, 2.8 percent higher than a month ago, but 29.8 percent below the previous year. The March 4a price (butter/powder) in California is $13.01, up $0.29 from the previous month, but $0.95 lower from a year ago.
This compares to the Federal Order Class IV price of $13.04 for March. The March 4b price (cheese) is $13.96, up $0.58 from the previous month, and $0.20 higher from a year ago. This compares to the Federal Order Class III price for March at $14.22.
Source: Capital Press