Missouri Dairy Business Update

Volume 12, Number 9
September 2012

Milk Prices

According to Bob Cropp's Dairy Outlook, "Dairy cow slaughter in recent weeks has been running 10 to 15% higher than a year ago, but with the ample supply of dairy replacements the decline in the nation’s dairy herd has been slow. Cow numbers didn’t start to decline until May and as of August numbers had decreased by 51,000 head. For the nation August cow numbers were still 0.2% higher than a year ago. Of the 23 reporting states only 3 states had fewer cows in August than July and only 7 had fewer cows than a year ago. USDA is forecasting cow numbers to continue to decline through the first half of next year and the average number of cows for next year to be 1.1% lower than this year’s average."

"In summary, milk prices will be much improved for the remainder of the year through at least the first half of next year. But, high feed prices will keep returns over feed costs at low levels for many dairy producers who need to purchase grains and concentrates as well as some who need to purchase hay or other forages."

Futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
9-28-12 Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan 13 Feb Mar Apr May June

Class III Milk
(per cwt.)

$18.98 $20.86 $20.83 $19.86 $19.42 $19.11 $18.92 $18.62 $18.61 $18.65

Class IV Milk
(per cwt.)

$17.50 $19.10 $19.99 $19.75 $19.20 $19.00 $19.00 $18.25 $18.00 $18.00
Source: CME
Current USDA Milk Price Forecasts
9-18-12 3rd Q 2012 4th Q 2012 1st Q 2013 2013
Class III Price $17.50-$17.70 $17.75-$18.25 $16.25-$17.05 $16.70-$17.70
Class IV Price $15.75-$16.05 $16.35-$16.95 $15.50-$16.40 $15.65-$16.75
Source: USDA, ERS, Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook

Historical Missouri milk prices may be found at: http://agebb.missouri.edu/dairy/mkt/index.htm