Export data out of China shows just how far their soybean imports have been reduced this year due to African Swine Fever and the U.S. trade war. China’s June soybean imports were down 11.5 percent from May as the country’s hog herd was reduced. June 2019 soybean imports were also down 25 percent from June of 2018. For the calendar year China has imported 6.51 million metric ton fewer soybeans than a year ago. This brings into question the entire soybean demand figures being issued by the USDA. ... Read more

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Powder and cheese lifted the July 16 Global Dairy Trade auction, ending four consecutive declines. The weighted average of products offered jumped 2.7 percent, following a 0.4 percent loss on July 2, 3.8 percent on June 18, 3.4 percent on June 4, and 1.2 percent on May 21. Sellers brought 55…

The Agriculture Department’s latest Crop Progress report shows 98% of U.S. corn has emerged, as of the week ending July 7, up from 94% the previous week and just 2% below a year ago and the five year average. 57% of the crop is rated good to excellent, down from 75% a year ago.

We are now at a stage of the growing season where some traders start to remove their risk premium. In many years once we get past the July 4 holiday, traders start to classify the crops as being “made.” This is especially the case for corn, as soybean yield is heavily determined by August we…

The Agriculture Department announced the June Federal order benchmark milk price at $16.27 per hundredweight, down 11 cents from May but $1.06 above June 2018 and is $1.84 above what California’s 4b cheese milk price was in June 2018. While down from May, it’s the highest Class III price sin…

Weather data shows that the month of June will go down as a record setter across the Corn Belt. June has the Corn Belt on track for 11 straight months of above-normal precipitation. This will also make the last 12 months the wettest for the Corn Belt in the past 125 years. The question now i…

We are starting to see more estimates released on potential new-crop balance sheets. Given all the issues the corn crop is facing, many analysts have lowered production forecasts and new-crop carryout totals. Most believe new-crop corn carryout will fall between 1 and 1.5 billion bushels at …

The Agriculture Department lowered its 2019 milk production estimate for the seventh month in a row in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, blaming slower-than-anticipated growth in milk per cow and lower expected cow numbers. The 2020 forecast was also reduced a…

We are starting to hear some questions in the market that may bring a change in attitude. We have seen a considerable amount of interest on production recently, but not much on demand. Demand has been good on U.S. grains and soybeans but appears to be falling short of projections. As a resul…

The Agriculture Department’s monthly benchmark milk price has reached the highest level in more than a year and a half. The May Federal order Class III price was announced at $16.38 per hundredweight, up 42 cents from April, $1.20 above May 2018, and the highest Class III price since November 2017.

We are now at a point where planting delays and adverse weather will play a more important role in crop production. The main factor being considered is acreage, as we are now at the stage where prevent-plant insurance may be used in much of the Corn Belt. This insurance allows farmers to col…

The May 17 announcement that the U.S. would lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico drew praise from dairy producers and processors this week and raised hopes in the dairy industry. Mexico, in turn, lifted its retaliatory tariffs against U.S. cheese exports. The break in the log…

When it comes to global corn demand, one factor is being overlooked. Over the past two years, world corn reserves have tightened 44 million metric tons. This is from a combination of elevated demand and production losses, mainly from drought in South America. Even with higher production bein…

The May 7 Global Dairy Trade auction registered its 11th consecutive session of gain and, while slowing, extended the longest run of gain since the GDT began in 2008. The weighted average of products offered inched 0.4 percent higher following a 0.5 percent rise on April 16 and 0.8 percent o…

We are now approaching the stage where the planting pace on corn becomes more of a market topic. History shows that if the U.S. corn crop is 70 percent planted by the third week of May, very few if any acres shift to alternative crops. At the same time, if the U.S. corn crop is more than 70 …

A higher U.S. All-Milk price pushed the March milk-to-feed price ratio higher for the third consecutive month. The Agriculture Department’s latest Ag Prices report marks the March ratio at 2.14, up from 2.07 in February and topping the 1.09 in March 2018, the second month to top the previous…

There is an old market adage that “low prices cure low prices.” While it is premature to say that low prices have cured our depressed markets, there are signs that they are in fact doing their job. Farmers in South America are already starting to make plans for next year’s acres, and low fut…

U.S. milk production in March fell below that of a year ago for the first time in six years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s preliminary 50-state data put output at 18.9 billion pounds, down 0.4 percent from March 2018. Output in the top 23 producing states was at 17.8 billion pounds, d…

We are starting to see a division take place in the U.S. cash grain market. Exporters are not pushing for deliveries right now as global demand for our offerings has been less than stellar in recent weeks. Basis values, the difference between commodity futures and cash bids, have weakened as…

The spring planting season is trying to get underway in the U.S. but is struggling. This is in part from the ongoing rain and snow events that keep moving through the U.S., but also from cold temperatures. Soil temperatures have not warmed to levels that seeding should take place in most reg…

Cheese contacts continue to report bullish demand in the Midwest, according to Dairy Market News. Curd, mozzarella and specialty cheesemakers say there has been a seasonal push from buyers. Cheese inventories are generally in good balance, though long inventories remain a concern nationally.

The Agriculture Department lowered its 2019 milk production estimate for the fifth consecutive month in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued April 9 “as higher milk cow numbers are more than offset by lower expected growth in milk per cow for the year.”

The April supply-and-demand report contained a few surprises for trade on the domestic side. Corn carryout increased a surprising 200 million bushels as the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced all areas of usage. This puts U.S. carryout at a comfortable 2.04 billion bushels for this marke…

Preliminary data pegged February 50-state milk output at 17 billion pounds, up 0.2 percent from 2018. The April 3 Dairy Products report shows that less went to butter powder and more to cheese. February cheese output totaled 991.4 million pounds, down 9.7 percent from January and 0.5 percent…

The state of the rural economy is becoming much more of a topic in the market. We are now hearing more and more comparisons between the current state of the economy and that of the 1980s. While there are some similarities, there are also some notable differences. The greatest difference is i…

The greatest issue for commodities at the present time is simply supply versus demand. While we have seen steady commodity demand this year, it has not been up to projected levels, and not nearly enough to keep reserves from building. This is not just on the domestic side, but from a world p…

The Agriculture Department’s February Cold Storage report shows dairy product inventories are plentiful but not overly burdensome. Feb. 28 butter stocks totaled 242.5 million pounds, up 31.3 million pounds, or 14.8 percent, from January but 23.3 million, or 8.8 percent, below February 2018.

Continued gains in milk per cow nudged February milk production slightly above February 2018. Preliminary U.S. Department of Agriculture data in the top 23 producing states shows output at 16 billion pounds, up 0.6 percent from 2018, but that compares to a 1.3 gain in January. Output in the …

Increased output in milk per cow pushed January milk production above January 2018, the 62nd consecutive month that output topped the year before. Preliminary data from another one of the delayed U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, January Milk Production, shows output in the top 23 prod…

Technical issues delayed reporting of the March 5 Global Dairy Trade auction, but once resolved, the weighted average of products offered moved higher for the seventh consecutive event, jumping 3.3 percent. That followed a 0.9 percent ascent Feb. 19 and 6.7 percent on Feb. 6. Sellers brought…

The Dec. 31, 2018, butter stocks totaled a surprising 179.3 million pounds, up a whopping 16.6 percent from November and 6.2 percent above December 2017, according to the delayed U.S. Department of Agriculture Cold Storage report issued Feb. 22.

Increased output in milk per cow kept December production above December 2017 — the 61st consecutive month that output topped the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest report, delayed a month by the government shutdown. Preliminary USDA data in the top 23 prod…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report on Feb. 8. The report was not issued in January due to the government shutdown. The 2018 milk production estimate was lowered based on available data through December. The 2019 forecast…

Cash dairy prices started February with some strength, then backed off but gave it another run. CME block Cheddar backed down to $1.4575 per pound Feb. 5 but closed the second Friday of the month at $1.5275, up 2.75 cents on the week and 1.75 cents above a year ago. Barrels finished at $1.37…

A drop in the U.S. All Milk price average could not be offset by some lower prices on feed and thus pulled the November milk-feed price ratio down after three months of advances. The Agriculture Department’s latest Ag Prices report shows the November ratio at 2.18, down from 2.20 in October …

Week four of 2019 became week five of the partial government shutdown. Missed U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the dairy industry relies on are stacking up and include the November Dairy Products report; January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates; monthly U.S. trade da…

Week three of 2019 became week four of the partial government shutdown. So far, the dairy industry has been deprived of the November Dairy Products report; the January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates; monthly U.S. trade data from the Bureau of Census; weekly dairy slaughter da…

Week two of 2019 became week three of the partial government shutdown, and hope for an end was nowhere in sight. The Agriculture Department’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, scheduled for Jan. 11, was the latest casualty of the shutdown. The report would have i…

The first Global Dairy Trade auction of 2019 saw its weighted average of products offered jump 2.8 percent following the 1.7 percent rise on Dec. 18 and 2.2 percent on Dec. 4. Sellers brought 63.2 million pounds to market, down from 79.8 million in the Dec. 18 session and the lowest amount s…

The handwriting is on the milk house wall and the walls of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Agriculture Department again lowered its 2018 and 2019 milk production estimates in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, due to “slower growth in milk per cow and l…

U.S. farm milk prices continue to fall. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel was seen in the Dec. 4 Global Dairy Trade auction. The weighted average of products offered jumped 2.2 percent following a 3.5 percent drop on Nov. 20 and a 2 percent decline Nov. 6, ending seven consecutiv…

There hasn’t been much in the way of significant news, as typical for this time of year in the grain markets. Most traders are already in holiday mode. Soybeans have managed to hold their own, while corn and wheat are testing the downside of the most recent trading range.

A higher U.S. All-Milk price average and some lower feed prices pushed the October milk-feed price ratio higher for the third month in a row and to the highest level since January, but farm margins have since fallen. The Agriculture Department’s latest Ag Prices report shows the October rati…

Increased output in milk per cow nudged October production above October 2017, and it was the 59th consecutive month that output topped that of the year before. Preliminary data in the top 23 states shows output at a somewhat bullish 16.9 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 2017, with the 50-s…

The Nov. 6 election was not indicative of a blue or red wave but perhaps a mixed splash. The increased division will certainly slow the Trump agenda. However, a nationwide Agri-Pulse phone poll of 600 commercial farmers and ranchers conducted by Aimpoint Research Oct. 12-28 indicated that fa…

Politics, poor export pace and major harvest progress have been the main factors in recent trade. A failure to push to new levels after breaching technical resistance has played a role, as well, as values moved lower before some strength returned.

Matt Gould, analyst and editor of the Dairy and Food Market Analyst newsletter, said in the Nov. 5 Dairy Radio Now broadcast that while 2018 is the fourth year in a row of poor farm-level milk prices, there are some positives — strong domestic demand for cheese and butter, plus global dairy …