Saturday Morning Spot Prices for Class II Cream and Butterfat

F.O.B. producing plants:   Upper Midwest -   $2.4028-2.5745 

The snow is mostly melted in the Upper Midwest after several areas 
experienced near or all-time record snowfall and duration of snow cover. 
The temperatures in the Midwest are averaging about 5 degrees below 
normal.  The Southern Plains are facing unfavorable dry, windy conditions 
as a series of dust storms with winds reaching over 50 mph.  Milk 
production in the Central region is mostly steady with a few producers 
noting an uptick in the milk tank.  Producers in Texas note the wheat crop 
is coming along well.  Texas corn planters are facing mixed field 
conditions and for the most part are behind in planting.  Milk spot load 
availability is mixed with prices ranging from marginally under Class to 
as high as $2.50 over Class.  Current high milk prices have some milk 
processors concerned about losing value by storing powders and/or cheese, 
therefore a few are electing to sell spot loads of milk.  Bottling demand 
is softening as few retail promotions are going on and orders are down.  
Condensed skim is readily available and moving at generally discounted 
rates.  Various Class II products such as whipping cream, soft serve, and 
cultured products are seeing increases in demand.  Ice cream makers are 
busy building inventories for upcoming seasonal demand.  Many Class II and 
Class IV manufacturers are taking extra cream supplies.  Class II cream 
multiples moved slightly higher, ranging from 1.26 to 1.35.  Some cheese 
makers are taking extra spot loads of milk if cheese sales warrant the 
additional production.  Grade AA butter at the CME Group closed 2 cents 
higher Wednesday to $1.9700, up 6.5 cents from a week ago.  South Dakota 
granted permits for additional 24,000 head of dairy cattle on various 
farms along mostly the state's eastern border.  The NASS Livestock 
Slaughter reports February 2014 dairy cow slaughter at 237,000 head, 12.2% 
or 33,000 head less than a month ago and down 8.5% or 22,000 head compared 
to February 2013.  January-February cumulative dairy cow slaughter totals 
507,000 head, a 8.8% or 49,000 head decrease from a year ago.  The weekly 
Cow Slaughter under Federal Inspection Report shows U.S. dairy cow 
slaughter for the week ending on March 8, 2014 at 59,600 head, 6,700 head 
or 10.1% less than the comparable week a year ago.