U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – Dec ’14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate. Nov ’14 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 217,900 head declined 12.5% from last year, a three month high on a percentage basis and 3.5% more than the ’13-’14 average YOY decline of 9.0%. Dairy cow slaughter has declined for 14 months in a row through Nov ’14. Dairy cow slaughter also declined 10.6% MOM from the Oct ’14 slaughter rate on a daily average basis. Dairy cow slaughter typically declines slightly MOM from Oct – Nov, having decreased by only 0.4% on average over the past ten years. The number of dairy cows on farms increased by 4,000 head in Nov ’14 over the Oct ’14 revised figure, to 9,280,000 total head, 82,000 more than November 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.