December 12, 2017

WASDE, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

As if farmers needed to read any more bad news about milk prices, USDA decided to make it official with the December WASDE report. If you don’t have much time to read today, know this: most of the report is negative.

USDA reduced price forecasts for all dairy products including Class III and Class IV milk prices for 2018. They give credit to pressure from large stocks and lower expected demand in the New Year. The agency did not change their forecast on fat basis or skim solids basis imports and exports, but they did increase whey exports.

On the wings of hope, USDA lowered their 2018 milk production forecast. The agency says slower growth in milk per cow is expected to carry into 2018 and paired with a slower growth rate in cow numbers they anticipate milk production to slow some next year.

The all-milk price forecast for 2018 is lowered to $16.65 to $17.45 per cwt for 2018. Still, there aren’t many months showing a milk price that begins with $16 on the board.

To add insult to injury, USDA says corn ending stocks are smaller this month and soybean meal prices will remain in the $295 to $335 per short ton range.