USDA Forecasts More U.S. Milk Output, Lower Prices in 2012

12:34AM Dec 09, 2011
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The All-Milk price is projected at a still-strong $18.10 to $18.90 per cwt. for 2012.

U.S. milk production is projected to rise in 2012, reflecting higher growth in milk per cow and slightly more cows in 2011, USDA said today in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.  
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Milk output this year is projected at 196.1 billion pounds, while next year’s production is forecast at 198.5 billion pounds. Those numbers compare to 2010’s milk production of 192.8 billion pounds, and 2009’s 189.3 billion pounds.
USDA forecast the All-Milk price forecast at $20.05 to $20.15 per cwt. for 2011, and $18.10 to $18.90 per cwt. for 2012.
Fat basis imports were raised for 2011 and skim-solids basis imports forecast slightly higher in 2012.
USDA also forecasts higher exports for 2011 and 2012, compared to 2010.
For 2011, cheese and whey prices remain unchanged, but the butter and nonfat dry milk (NDM) price forecasts are reduced. Thus, the Class III price forecast was unchanged but the Class IV price was reduced, USDA noted. Cheese and butter prices for 2012 were lowered from last month but the whey price was raised. The range of the NDM price was narrowed.
As a result of the higher whey price, USDA raised the forecast for the Class III price to $18.30 to $18.40 per cwt. for 2011, and to $16.09 to $17.70 per cwt. for 2012. The 2011 Class III price was pegged at $14.41 per cwt. The lower butter price results in a reduction in the Class IV price forecast, to $18.95 to $19.15 per cwt. for this year, and to $17.25 to $18.10 per cwt. for 2012.