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Market trends

Organic co-ops eye exporting UHT milk to Asia

The USDA says conventional bottled milk demand is slow to redevelop after the holidays, although some Southeast areas indicate say outdoor dining is augmenting demand.

February 22, 2013
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Bottles whirl through the aseptic rotary filler
Bottles whirl through an aseptic filling station.

Aseptically packaged UHT organic milk is currently being exported mostly by national processors, reports the USDA's Dairy Market News for the week of Feb. 18 to 22. Efforts are underway at some smaller state and regionally focused organic cooperatives to negotiate export deals for UHT organic milk to Asian countries. UHT-processed milk in aseptic packages has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration,

Dairy Market News also reports that in most areas of the United States, conventional bottled milk demand is slow to redevelop after the holidays, although some Southeast areas indicate increasing outdoor dining is augmenting fluid milk demand. Most regions are handling manufacturing of the milk supplies within their respective region, with the exception of cream. Cream loads from both the West and East are clearing into the Central region to find processing room. Sales of cream into ice cream and frozen dessert accounts are at seasonal volumes, but that market segment is expected to increase rapidly in March.

The national weighted average advertised conventional milk price for half gallons this period, $1.42, decreased 75 cents from two weeks ago, following a 16 cent increase two weeks before that. Organic half gallon prices averaged $3.49, down 26 cents from two weeks ago, following a previous 18 cent increase. The resulting organic/conventional half-gallon price spread is $2.07, up 49 cents from two weeks ago to the highest spread of 2013.

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