U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – Nov ’14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate. Oct ’14 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 251,800 head declined 9.0% from last year, in line with the ’13-’14 average YOY decline of 9.0%. Dairy cow slaughter has declined for 13 months in a row through Oct ’14. Dairy cow slaughter increased MOM for only the third time in the last nine months, increasing 2.5% over the Sep ’14 slaughter rate. Dairy cow slaughter typically increases slightly MOM from Sep – Oct, having increased 1.5% on average over the past ten years. The number of dairy cows on farms increased by 4,000 head in Oct ’14 over the Sep ’14 revised figure, to 9,280,000 total head, 77,000 more than October of last year. U.S. dairy cow numbers are key to fundamentally analyzing the milk market for expected supply and price direction. With strong milk prices and attractive margins, producers will look to continue the trend of decreased dairy cow culling in future months.