U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – Aug ’14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate through the first ten months of the ’13-’14 production season. Jul ’14 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 231,600 head was off of the six year low experienced in Jun ’14, but remains 7.6% behind the ’12-’13 slaughter rate. The monthly slaughter rate has declined YOY each of the first ten months of the ’13-’14 production season, with YTD slaughter down 8.6%. The number of milk cows on farms increased by 5,000 head in Jul ’14, to 9,272,000 total head, the highest figure since Apr ’12. U.S. dairy cow numbers are key to fundamentally analyzing the milk market for expected supply and price direction. With near record milk prices and attractive margins, producers will look to continue the trend of decreased dairy cow culling in future months.