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USDA Predicts Higher Milk Prices for 2013

April 14, 2013
By: Catherine Merlo, Dairy Today Western and Online Editor google + 
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The All-Milk Price is projected as high as $19.60 per cwt.

USDA raised its estimates for 2013 dairy prices, boosting the All-Milk price to nearly $20 per cwt. in its April 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

Lower forecasted milk production and improved domestic product demand led USDA to raise the projected 2013 All-Milk price to $19.45-$19.95 per cwt. That’s up from the $19.00-$19.60 estimated in the March WASDE report. Class III price projections rose to $17.85-$18.35 per cwt., up about 30 cents per cwt.

Weakened by lower milk per cow in the first quarter, milk production will likely decrease to 201.8 billion pounds, down slightly from March’s estimate of 201.9 million pounds. That’s still significantly higher than the 2012 estimated output level of 200.3 billion pounds.

USDA left cow numbers unchanged from last month’s estimate.

USDA’s export projections remain strong at 9.4 billion pounds on a fat-basis use, up from 8.8 billion pounds in 2012 and equal to 2011’s level. Estimates for exports for skim-solids basis use also rose, climbing to 34.4 billion pounds, an increase over 2012’s 33.3 billion pounds.

Annual U.S. dairy export value hit $5.21 billion in 2012, a gain of 8% over the previous year, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council. It was the first time sales cleared the $5 billion mark. Mexico remains the No. 1 market for U.S. dairy exports.

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