DairyBusiness Update for March 21, 2013
February cow slaughter down, but …
USDA estimated 259,400 culled dairy cows were slaughtered under federal inspection in February 2013, down 1,700 from February 2012 and 37,500 less than January 2013. While the numbers were down from both the previous month and year, it should be noted February 2013 only had 24 business days (counting weekdays and Saturdays), one less than February 2012 due to Leap Year. On a daily basis, February 2013 slaughter was up about 365 head from February 2012. And, weekly cull cow slaughter in 2013 has surpassed the corresponding week in 2012 in seven of the first 10 weeks of the year.
The January-February 2013 total was estimated at 556,300 head, 31,300 more than the same period in 2012.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. The revised forms are available in English and Spanish online at www.uscis.gov. USCIS maintains a website, I-9 Central, to support Form I-9 users. USCIS has also scheduled free webinars to help employers learn about the new form.
The Department of Homeland Security published a Notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new Form I-9.
• Employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 for all new hires and reverifications.
• Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions until May 7, 2013.
• After May 7, 2013, employers must only use the new Form I-9.
To order forms, call USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676. For downloadable forms and information on USCIS programs, immigration laws, regulations, and procedures, visit www.uscis.gov.
The National Milk Producers Federation board will consider a plan to double the current Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program assessment when it meets in June, according to NMPF CEO and president Jerry Kozak. Kozak said the plan, if approved, would boost the assessment to 4¢/cwt. and extend assessment collection through 2014-15.
Co-ops and individuals have committed the current 2¢/cwt. assessment on about 70% of U.S. milk production in 2013. According to Kozak, about $30 million is budgeted to cover 2013 export assistance, with another $5 million held in reserve. However, due to heavy use and strong dairy export totals, the program is in danger of running short of funds.
So far in 2013, CWT has already accepted bids from participating co-ops covering 34.05 million lbs. of cheese, 40.91 million lbs. of butter and 218,258 lbs. of whole milk powder to 24 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.206 billion lbs. of milk on a milkfat basis, or the annual milk output of 57,400 cows.
That's on top of a record 2012, in which CWT aided the export of 124.5 million lbs. of cheese and 72.8 million lbs. of butter. Those sales represented 18% of all U.S. cheese exports, including 83% of total American cheese exports, and 62% of all U.S. butter exports. The 2012 shipments were equivalent to 2.743 billion lbs. of milk on a milkfat basis. Visit www.cwt.coop.
Backlash from consumers and a changed environment surrounding flavored milk likely mean a petition regarding non-nutritive sweeteners faces a dim future, according to Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).
Years ago, there were attacks on chocolate milk, and it was being removed from schools. At the time, dairy processors were concerned they could not meet necessary reformulations related to calories and sugar content to meet school milk guidelines. In March 2009, NMPF signed onto the petition with the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), seeking to amend the standard of identity for milk. The petition would allow the use of non-nutritive sweeteners in milk and 17 additional dairy products, without substantial front-of-package labeling requirements. Under the standards-of-identity petition, non-nutritive sweeteners could be listed under the ingredients label.
The petition said use of such sweeteners would aid in the fight against childhood obesity, while ensuring students would continue to have access to the nutritional benefits of milk and other dairy products.
It wasn't until nearly four years later, on Feb. 20, 2013, when FDA published the petition and scheduled a public comment period, set to close on May 21.
After FDA’s announcement, some consumer groups created an uproar over the non-nutritive sweeteners, especially aspartame, charging that the dairy industry was trying to sneak artificial sweeteners into milk and dairy products. SumOfUs.org, a global consumer advocacy organization, said nearly 90,000 consumers joined its effort opposing the IDFA/NMPF proposal.
Kozak also noted that since the petition was first filed with FDA in 2009, newly formulated flavored milks have reduced calorie and sugar levels, and many schools have put those products back in school lunch programs and a la carte offerings to students.
MARKETS: Cheese jumps; Class III futures give back a little
Today's market closing prices:
Butter: unchanged, at $1.70/lb.
Cheddar blocks: up 4.0¢, to $1.68/lb.
Cheddar barrels: up 3.5¢, to $1.6550/lb.
Grade A nonfat dry milk: up 2.0¢, to $1.54/lb.
Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged at $1.56/lb.
Class III milk: -33¢ to +2¢ through December 2013. Based on current CME closing prices, the 2013 average is $18.44/cwt.; and the 2014 average is $16.70/cwt.
Corn, soybeans and meal futures all higher
Corn: steady to +3¢ per bushel through December 2013. The 2013 average is $6.54/bu.
Soybeans: +14¢ to +29¢ per bushel through December 2013. The 2013 average is $13.68/bu.
Soybean meal: +$2.90 to +$9.10/ton through December 2013. The 2013 average is $388.83/ton.
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