DairyProfit Update for Dec. 12, 2012
A Minnesota federal district court judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit against General Mills and Yoplait, Dec. 10, saying the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and not the courts, should decide label requirements for yogurt.
Last April, Illinois resident Martin Taradejna filed the suit against General Mills and Yoplait, alleging the company’s Greek yogurt was improperly labeled because it contained milk protein concentrate (MPC).
In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson noted other litigation over yogurt labels is pending in other courts, with the potential for judicial inconsistency and lack of uniformity in establishing labeling requirements. A federal class action false advertising lawsuit was filed Aug. 31, claiming Cabot Greek-Style Yogurt is not made in the authentic way using an expensive filtering system. Instead, Timothy Smith v. Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Inc. and Agri-Mark, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-4591, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, alleges the product is thickened through the addition of whey protein concentrates and MPC.
Nelson invoked the doctrine of "primary jurisdiction", finding FDA was best suited to handle the dispute. In 2009, the FDA issued a proposed rule on the standards of identity for yogurt. However, no public hearings have ever been held on the proposed rule, according to court documents.
October dairy trade
The value of U.S. dairy exports totaled $413 million in October 2012, up 3% from September 2012, but virtually unchanged from October 2011. It marked the 20th consecutive month export values surpassed $400 million. Year-to-date (Y-T-D, January-October 2012) exports are estimated at $4.403 billion, up 10% from the same period last year.
At $261 million, the value of October 2012 imports was up 6% from September 2012 and 5% more than October 2011. Y-T-D imports are estimated at $2.563 billion, up 10% from January-October 2011.
The 2012 dairy trade surplus stands at $1.84 billion, compared to $1.65 billion a year earlier.
At $92 million, October cheese imports were down 5% from September 2012 and down 16% from October 2011. Y-T-D 2012 cheese imports are estimated at $828 million, down 2% from the year before.
MARKETS: Barrels down 1¢; Class III futures slightly lower
Today's market closing prices:
Butter: unchanged at $1.5950/lb.
Cheddar blocks: unchanged at $1.76/lb.
Cheddar barrels: down 1.0¢, to $1.65/lb.
Grade A nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.5575/lb.
Extra Grade nonfat dry milk: unchanged, at $1.56/lb.
Class III milk: -20¢ to +5¢ through December 2013. Based on current CME closing prices, the 2012 average is $17.43/cwt.; the 2013 average is $18.43/cwt.; and the 2014 average is $16.19/cwt.
Corn and soybean futures lower; meal up
Corn: -2¢ to -3¢ through December 2013. The 2013 average is $6.90/bu.
Soybeans: -5¢ to +1¢ through November 2013. The 2013 average is $14.19/bu.
Soybean meal: +$0.40 to +$4.50/ton through December 2013. The 2013 average is $415.88/ton.
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