Dairy Looks Ahead to 2020
With five years of challenging milk prices in the rear-view, U.S. dairy producers have much to be thankful for this year. Improving milk prices and other economic signals point to an optimistic year ahead.
At least, that is what Mark Stephenson has to say. Mark is a University of Wisconsin dairy policy analyst.
“I think that we’ve had a difficult time maybe experiencing optimism in the industry. But prices are more than a dollar higher today than they were the same time last year, so people are beginning to think that maybe we are on the back side of that. And I do think we are.”
That increase is mostly led by growing demand for cheese and butter. Americans today consume a little more than 36 pounds of cheese per person.
“We should continue to fight for all the sales that we can get in those product categories, but you have to look at the whole picture. I heard one person comment that now, instead of drinking our milk, we’re eating our milk.”
As a major player in the world dairy market, there are also global forces at work that can impact milk prices here at home.
“We’re the third largest exporter, and so it matters what our overseas customers want in the way of products, and that’s gotten complicated with some of our trade wars and a few other things that have happened. And it also matters what our competitors for those sales into world export markets are.”
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement could have a huge impact on the market in 2020.