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USA 01.02.2024

American type cheese stocks increased to 837.8 million pounds

Source: The DairyNews
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The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) paints a fascinating picture of the dairy industry, highlighting notable changes in December dairy product stocks, The Dairynews.today writes.
American type cheese stocks increased to 837.8 million pounds
Butter Inventories Experience Steepest December Drawdown Since 2004:
As of December 31, butter holdings stood at 199.5 million pounds, marking a significant decrease of 13.1 million pounds or 6.2% from the November inventory. This, according to the Daily Dairy Report, is the most substantial December drawdown since 2004. Stocks were down 16.8 million pounds or 7.8% from December 2022.

American Type Cheese Stocks and Other Cheese Holdings:
American type cheese stocks increased to 837.8 million pounds, up 9.4 million pounds or 1.1% from November's level. Meanwhile, "other" cheese holdings decreased to 583.7 million pounds, down 3.6 million or 0.6% from November. Despite these fluctuations, the total cheese inventory reached 1.44 billion pounds, up 5.9 million pounds or 0.4% from November.

StoneX notes that U.S. cheese is currently the most affordable globally, potentially facilitating increased exports through December and January.

Market Dynamics and Price Movements:
CME traders navigated a week filled with developments, including the reentry of Class I demand with schools back in session. StoneX highlights upward pressure on spot milk prices due to this resurgence in demand, as well as a more consistent schedule in cheese processing. Diverging trends in milk and cream availability, with ample cream supply but a tightening milk supply, are shaping market dynamics.

Cheese plant downtime has eased, leading to prices reported above Class III for the first time since the year-end holidays. Cheddar block prices closed at $1.5375 per pound, up 9.25 cents, while barrels finished at $1.47, 0.25 cents higher. Butter prices surged following the bullish Cold Storage report, closing at $2.76 per pound, the highest since November 8, 2023.

Production and Demand Outlook:
Dairy Market News reports that cheese demand is ranging from stronger than typical to on par with previous years. Cheese makers are seeing steady production even amid disruptions caused by winter storms. Domestic cheese demand in the West is described as steady to lighter, influenced by harsh weather conditions.

The report also notes that dairy producers have significantly boosted components, with average butterfat in U.S. milk reaching an all-time high of 4.28% in November. Despite a 0.6% setback in November milk output, milk cows produced 1.6% more cream than in November 2022.

In conclusion, the dairy market is witnessing dynamic shifts influenced by supply and demand dynamics, weather conditions, and global pricing competitiveness.
Keith Woodford
Keith Woodford
principal consultant at Agri food Systems Ltd.
Synlait is in big trouble with losses mounting up and no easy answers, says Keith Woodford. For much of the past 20 years, Synlait was an entrepreneurial player in the New Zealand dairy industry, with a strong focus on growth. For a long time, it seemed to be doing everything right.
Lee Mielke
Lee Mielke
editor of the Mielke Market Weekly
Dairy farm milk production continues to struggle and remained below a year ago for the seventh consecutive month.
February 2024
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