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Agricultural News

Fluid Milk Sales Trending at End of 2011 Toward a 25 year Low

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 19:02:06 CST

Fluid Milk Sales Trending at End of 2011 Toward a 25 year Low According to dairy industry reporter John Kaczor, fluid milk sales have declined throughout 2011- and are ending the old year substantially smaller than 2010. He writes in the latest Milk Producers Newsletter that he edits "This is not how the final story for this year should end, but the long, sad story about declining fluid milk sales in the U.S. simply has not changed as the year progressed. The monthly decline below the same month a year earlier that began with March, 2010, shows no sign of stopping. CDFA's November report for California (-2.7%) and preliminary numbers for fluid milk usage in federal milk orders (-3.3%) add up to a total decline in fluid milk sales for the month of 143 million lbs below last November. The total loss of Class 1 sales for the U.S. for this year, provided December's sales reflect November's pattern, will be close to 1.2 billion lbs.

"It should be noted these figures include sales of organic milks, which based on data through October, will have increased by an estimated 250 million lbs for the year.

"Various reasons have been offered for the drop in fluid milk sales. Most go against the conventional belief that food sales generally, and dairy product sales more specifically, are somewhat immune from the affects of economic downturns and price increases. The years included in this chart include two recessions, the last, longest and deepest, supposedly ended in June 2009. Prices from 2004 through the present have cycled through two periods of very low and two periods of very high prices, without responding as they might have. The outstanding increases in organic milk sales in the latest four years also defies industry and economic theory. Consumer confidence in November has risen for a second straight month. Maybe some of that confidence will translate into more milk sales because what is happening simply does not make sense."

Click here to see the entire end of the year Dairy Market Update that comes out of California from the Milk Producers Council.



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