April 9, 2019

USDA Pushes 2019 Milk Price Forecast Higher Despite Spring Flush

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

In their April World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, USDA pushed their all milk price forecast higher, with the top end approaching $18, despite the arrival of Spring flush.


USDA lowered expected 2019 milk production from the March report as higher milk cow numbers are more than offset by lower growth in milk per cow for the year.


“The 2019 fat basis import forecast is unchanged from last month, but the export forecast is lowered on slower expected shipments of butterfat products and whey products,” they said. “On a skim-solids basis, the current import forecast is raised on higher imports of milk protein products and a number of other dairy products. The skim-solids basis export forecast is lowered from last month on lower shipments of whey products, lactose, and nonfat dry milk (NDM).”


Cheese prices have been moving higher, a trend USDA expects to continue. Butter, NDM and whey prices are lowered on weaker demand. As expected, USDA thinks Class III prices will move higher with the cheese market, and Class IV prices will move lower on weak NDM and butter price forecasts.


The all milk price forecast is raised to $17.25 to $17.75 per cwt.