Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 4/26/2017
MILK PRICES SLIDE AS BUTTER USAGE SLIPS

       Milk prices have trended lower throughout the first three months of the year. Class IV milk prices (milk destined for the butter and milk powder market) averaged $16.19 per cwt. in January and sank to $14.32 in March, an 11% decline. Class IV milk prices were caught in a riptide of poor demand for butter in the U.S. and declining milk powder prices in Western Europe.


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DEMAND, FEEDLOT MARKETINGS , DRESSED WEIGHTS, AND CATTLE PRICES

            Cattle prices have strengthened since the beginning of 2017. So far this year, beef demand has been strong both by domestic customers and foreign buyers. That demand has fed-back to strong demand for fed cattle by packers. Cattle feeders have been willing sellers because they have been making profits in recent months and the “market structure” has supported turning-over their feedlot inventories. By market structure we refer to two keys.


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