U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – Oct ’14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate. Sep ’14 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 237,700 head declined 8.1% from last year, slightly less than the ’13-’14 YTD average YOY decline of 9.0%. Dairy cow slaughter increased MOM for only the second time in the last eight months, increasing 7.5% over the Aug ’14 slaughter rate. Dairy cow slaughter typically increases slightly MOM from Aug – Sep, having increased 2.9% on average over the past ten years. The number of milk cows on farms increased by 2,000 head in Sep ’14 over the Aug ’14 revised figure, to 9,267,000 total head, 59,000 more than September of last year. The monthly slaughter rate has declined YOY every month throughout the ’13-’14 production season, with YTD slaughter finishing the production season down 9.0%. ’13-’14 total dairy cow slaughter reached a four year low, and the 9.0% YOY decline was the largest in nine years. 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.