- Regular grade whole milk powder (WMP) prices sold at Global Dairy Trade (GDT) Pulse auction platform were down at last week’s auction, settling at US$2,930/t. This price was US$45/t or 1.5% lower than the price achieved at the previous pulse, and down US$85/t or 2.8% from the price achieved for C2 regular WMP at GDT 342.
- The price for medium heat skim milk powder (SMP) settled at US$2,480/t which is down US$60/t from the price achieved at the previous pulse auction, and US$165/t or 6.2% lower than the price achieved for C2 medium heat SMP at GDT 342, demonstrating a significant decline over a two week period.
- Looking forward to this week’s GDT trading event 343, Fonterra released their offering volumes on Thursday, reducing the 12-month cheddar offer quantity by 2.67%, or 420mt, to 15,300mt. Fonterra stated that these changes were driven by product mix optimisation.
- The dairy co-op also increased its forecast total offer quantities for both anhydrous milkfat (AMF) and butter as a result of the Cream Group Flex. This hasn’t impacted the total offer quantity in milkfat tonnes over the next 12 months.
Fonterra CFO departs
- Last week, Fonterra announced the abrupt departure of CFO Neil Beaumont who left the company on November 3, after nine months in the role.
- Simon Till – who most recently held the position of director of capital markets with the cooperative – will step into the interim CFO role, while a search process gets underway to appoint a permanent successor.
- This follows the departure of another Fonterra executive Fraser Whineray, who resigned from the cooperative’s chief operating officer role earlier this year.
Australian dairy exports for September
- Australia released their export data for September, with the key takeaway being a continuation of declines in dairy exports on both a volume and value basis.
- Total export volumes were down 5.7% YoY for September, and are down 16.1% YTD.
- From a value perspective, September exports were down 13.9% bringing the YTD figure to a 17.7% deficit.
Whole milk powder (WMP):
- Prices decreased across all contracts following another decline in price at GDT Pulse, with Dec posting the largest decrease at -3.8%
- Forward curve remains in contango: Oct lowest at US$2,975/t before climbing to US$3,440/t in Jul
- Open interest (OI) for Nov is up 22%, up to 9,324 lots
- Trading volumes down 8% from last week but remain high; 6940 lots traded
Skim milk powder (SMP):
- Prices decreased for all contracts, including as much as 4.8% for the front contract
- Forward curve remains in contango; Oct lowest at US$2,560/t before climbing to US$3,030/t in May
- OI for Nov up 6%, up to 5,184 lots
- Trading volumes up a massive 283% to 8,197 lots traded
- Prices increased for all contracts – Feb, Mar and Apr all up 3.7%
- Prices settled at US$5,180/t for Nov before lifting to US$5,550/t in Feb
- Forward curve contains a premium for contracts in the first six months of 2024 before shifting into backwardation for subsequent contracts
- 80 lots traded, down from 260 lots last week
Anhydrous milkfat (AMF):
- Prices increased for all contracts, with the largest gains coming in Jun and Jul which are both up 6.4% from last week
- Prices settled between US$5,580/t in Nov before lifting to US$5,880/t in Mar
- 336 lots traded, up from zero lots the previous week
Milk Price Futures
- Milk price futures volumes traded decreased 69% to 312 lots traded
- The September 2024 contract down nine cents, or 1.1%, to $7.81/kgMS
- The September 2025 contract up five cents, or 0.6% to $8.95/kgMS
- The September 2026 contract unchanged at 8.80/kgMS
The downturn in U.S. milk production was bigger than we thought but is likely over
The downturn in U.S. milk production was bigger than we thought but is likely over. The Agriculture Department’s latest preliminary data put September output at 18.21 billion pounds, down a somewhat bullish 32 million pounds or 0.2% from Sept. 2022. The top 24-state total, at 17.465 billion, was down 0.03%. It was the third consecutive month that output lagged a year ago as low milk prices and high feed costs took their toll.
The August 50-state total was revised down 119 million pounds from last month’s estimate, which put output down 0.8% from 2022 instead of the 0.2% originally reported. The 24-state revision was down 73 million pounds, down 0.7%, instead of the 0.3% loss originally reported.
The Oct. 19 Daily Dairy Report stated, “USDA made important revisions to data in prior months, suggesting that since April, milk supplies have been lighter than previously believed. USDA revised lower year-over-year production for each of the last five months by at least 0.1%,” the DDR said, and revised cow numbers downward in July and August by 11,000 and 14,000 head, respectively.”
September cow numbers totaled 9.370 million head, down 6,000 from the August count which was revised down 14,000 head. The herd is 36,000 below a year ago and the smallest since Jan. 2022. The 24-State count was down 2,000 from August, which was revised up 1,000 head, but is 16,000 below a year ago.
Output per cow in the 50 states averaged 1,943 pounds, down 68 pounds from August, but 4 pounds or 0.2% above Sept. 2022. The 24-State output averaged 1,960 pounds, down 70 pounds from August but 3 pounds or 0.15% above a year ago. Revisions lowered August output per cow by 10 pounds in the 50 states and lowered it 8 pounds in the 24 State data.
California cows put 3.2 million pounds in the tank, down 60 million or 3.7% from a year ago. Cow numbers were down 9,000 and output per cow was down 25 pounds. California hasn’t posted a gain since Aug. 2022.
Wisconsin, with 2.6 billion pounds produced, was up 30 million or 1.1% from a year ago, thanks to a 25-pound gain per cow offsetting the loss of 1,000 cows.
Idaho was off 0.6%, on a 30-pound drop per cow, though cow numbers were up 5,000. Michigan was up 2.7%, on 11,000 more cows and 5 pounds more per cow. Minnesota was off 0.6% on 3,000 less cows. Cow output was unchanged.
New Mexico was down 7.2%, on 19,000 fewer cows and 10 pounds less per cow. New York was up 2% on 5,000 more cows and 25 pounds more per cow. Oregon was down 4.2%, on 5,000 less cows. Output per cow was unchanged. Pennsylvania was off 0.1% on 2,000 less cows. Output per cow was up 5 pounds.