U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – May ’14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate through the first seven months of the ’13-’14 season. April ’14 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 229,800 head was 14.4% behind the ’12-’13 slaughter rate and 3.4% lower than last month on a daily average basis. The April ’14 YOY slaughter decline of 14.4% was the largest monthly decline in nearly four years. ’13-’14 YTD dairy cow slaughter is 7.7% lower than last year with the YTD slaughter rate continuing to decline since the beginning of the year. U.S. dairy cow numbers are key to fundamentally analyzing the milk market for expected supply and price direction. With record milk prices and attractive margins, producers will look to continue the trend of decreased dairy cow culling in future months.