Cheese Update: Demand Slowing but Still There
Northeast cheese production is steady, according to Dairy Market News. Cheese manufacturers are continuing full production schedules that initiated several weeks ago. With marginal increases in orders, some cheese makers noted that maintaining rather than building inventories is the precedence. Cheese stocks are sufficient for satisfying short-term needs. Domestic sales are slowing. Export demand and trade benefit the market.
Seasonally, Central cheese manufacturing is being bolstered by strong milk intakes, increasing at some plants, in addition to some use of condensed skim to fortify vats. Barrel interest remains active to higher, with some Midwest manufacturers being challenged in meeting increased recent demand. This is viewed as a short term situation that can be handled with current milk availability and determination to maintain full production schedules.
Mozzarella interest is seasonally lower, leading some manufacturers to more closely schedule manufacturing against shredding needs. This leads to more concentration of production to better attain cost efficiencies and maintain product quality. Most packaging and processing operations are operating at normal June levels. The Midwest cheese market is widely viewed as firm. Inventories are in good balance.
Cheese production in the West is active with sufficient milk available to meet buyers' demand. Some plants are turning milk away rather than building surplus stocks. Cheese producers are reporting good retail demand, despite higher than year ago prices. Export demand is moderating with much of the export shipments coming from previous sales. Export sales for Q3 are being negotiated with current prices meeting some resistance.