January 2010 monthly U.S. butter production totaled 162 million pounds, up 7.5% from December 2009, but down 7.2% from January 2009. Class II cream product production is seasonally strong as Easter/Passover orders are being filled. With the holiday within four weeks, orders for cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream, and other cream based products are good. Some retailers are stating that they are placing heavier butter orders and are anticipating running features as the holiday nears. On January 31, U.S. cold storage holdings of butter totaled 169.8 million pounds, 28% more than a month ago, but 4% less than last year.
U.S. milk supply is forecast to decline slightly in 2010 as a continued response to low prices last year. The size of the U.S. dairy herd is expected to decline and milk per cow is forecast to increase 1.8 percent this year. Feed prices will decline this year as the price of corn and soybean meal is expected to drop an average of about 10% from 2009 prices. Based on product price forecasts, butter prices will be higher in 2010 from those of 2009.
January 2010 AUSTRALIAN milk output trailed January 2009 by 9.1%. Current milk production is moving higher and indicated to be closing the production gap when compared to a year ago. Rainfall of recent weeks has increased pasture growth and has helped feed quality and translated into improved milk output. Feed prices remain relatively low and allowing for supplemental feeding. NEW ZEALAND milk production continues to trend higher and current output is tracking slightly higher than last year.