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USDA projects lower dairy production, some higher prices

The USDA lowered its milk production forecasts in Friday’s supply and demand report.   USDA says 2023 milk production was estimated at 228.4 billion pounds in July, but their August update lowers that projection to 227.9 billion pounds.  

The projected cow inventory for this year and 2024 is lower, and the expected output per cow is reduced for 2023 but unchanged for 2024. 

The report raised the expected 2023 butter and cheese prices because of recent price strength. This year’s whey price forecasts were lowered. The forecast for nonfat dry milk (NDM), Class III, and Class IV is higher. The all-milk price for 2023 is up to $19.95 per cwt.  

For 2024, butter and cheese price forecasts are raised, whey prices are lowered, and the nonfat dry milk forecast is unchanged. The Class III and Class IV prices are higher based on higher product prices. The expected 2024 all-milk price was raised to $19.35 per hundredweight. 

USDA expects U.S. dairy imports and exports to be lower.  Fat and skim-solids-based imports for 2023 are lowered from last month on weaker expected imports of cheese and butter. The 2023 fat basis export forecast was lowered due to lower exports of cheese, butter and butterfat products, and whole milk powder. The skim-solids export forecast is lower, mostly because of weaker whey product sales.  

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