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U.S. Cheese Output Hits 10.4B Pounds


by Lee Mielke

Published: Friday, November 18, 2022

The following is from Lee Mielke, author of a dairy market column known as "Mielke Market Weekly."

Preliminary September data showed milk output up 1.5% from 2021. The September Dairy Products report indicates the extra milk went primarily to cheese, mainly Italian and Mozzarella.

Cheese output totaled 1.139 billion pounds, down 1% from August but was only up .4% from September 2021. Output year-to-date (YTD) hit 10.4 billion pounds, up 1.7% from a year ago.

Wisconsin produced 287.2 million pounds of that total, up .4% from August but .2% above a year ago. California produced 192.9 million pounds, down 6.7% from August and 1.6% less than a year ago. New Mexico output totaled 77.4 million pounds, down 4.1% from August but 2.2% above a year ago. Idaho vats added 86.3 million pounds, up 17% from August, and 3.5% above a year ago.

Italian cheese totaled 498.1 million pounds, up .5% from August and 3.2% above a year ago. American cheese totaled 422.7 million pounds, down 2.3% from August and 2.6% below a year ago. Mozzarella output amounted to 384.7 million pounds, up 4% from a year ago, indicating strong pizza consumption.

Cheddar production fell to 304.7 million pounds, down 9.7 million pounds, or 3.1%, from August, and 5.2 million pounds, or 1.7%, below September 2021. YTD Cheddar is at 2.9 billion, down 1.7% from a year ago.

Butter output slipped to 141.6 million pounds, down 1.8 million pounds, or 1.3%, from August, and down 2 million pounds, or 1.4%, below a year ago. YTD butter output stands at 1.54 billion pounds, down 2.2% from a year ago.

Yogurt totaled 391.5 million pounds, down 4.5% from a year ago.

Dry whey production climbed to 79 million pounds, up 700,000 pounds, or .9%, from August, and 3.8 million, or 5.1%, above a year ago. YTD is at 724 million pounds, up 2.4%.

Stocks slipped to 63.8 million pounds, down 500,000 pounds, or .8%, from August and 800,000 pounds, or 1.3%, above those a year ago.

Nonfat dry milk output fell to 123.7 million pounds, down 10.4 million pounds, or 7.8%, from August and was down 15.7 million, or 11.3%, below a year ago. YTD powder was at 1.5 billion pounds, down 3.9%.

Stocks seasonally fell to 273.1 million pounds, down a whopping 37.6 million pounds, or 12.1%, from August but up 14.3 million, or 5.5%, above a year ago.

Skim milk powder output climbed to 58.5 million pounds, up 2.5 million, or 4.4%, from August, but down 13.6 million, or 18.9%, from a year ago. YTD SMP was at 390.7 million pounds, down 23.7% from 2021.

Cheese, butter, nonfat and skim milk powder production was weaker than forecast, according to StoneX. "With milk production coming in higher than expected, the thought was that dairy product production would also come in higher but that wasn't the case." They add that "Missing fat is up 24.1% from last year while missing protein is up 63%." Where did it go?

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