US - The US national dairy herd is 9.31 million head, with the recent growth in the herd showing signs of slowing over recent months, according to the US Department of Agriculture Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report.
Donagh Hennessy, from the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia said that milk production per animal declined by 0.05 per cent in February, along with a decline in the national milk feed ratio. Persistent drought in California is affecting yields with a drop of four per cent recorded.
The low water supply will be a concern for the coming months even if normal weather patterns returned. It is estimated that US milk production in February was 1.7 per cent ahead of February 2014. Milk production for the full year 2015 is forecasted to be 210 billion pounds, up 1.9 per cent on the previous year, but 1.1 billion pounds less than forecasted one month ago in the March report.
As US corn and soy prices are expected to remain low, major dairy commodities prices are mixed in recent weeks.
In March cheese and butter prices both increased by one per cent in contrast to Whey and Non-fat Dry Milk which fell by 7 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
A combination of the strengthening dollar, the increase in domestic demand (up 2.8 per cent), and the high cheese price has the all milk price forecast for 2015 at $17.10 to 17.60 per hundredweight (100 pounds), unchanged from the last month’s forecast.
Exports in February remained at lower levels, with the strength of the dollar in comparison to other milk producing states leaving the US less competitive.
US SMP and whey exports have shown the largest declines in contrast to the EU and New Zealand, who have both shipped higher SMP volumes so far this year.TheMeatSite News Desk