November DMC Margin Barely Tops $9.50 for the First Time in 2023

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Source: National Milk Producers Federation

The November margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program inched up $0.14/cwt from a month earlier to $9.58/cwt, marking its first time in 2023 above the maximum $9.50/cwt Tier 1 coverage level.

The monthly change was a product of modest price movements. The all-milk price rose $0.10/cwt to $21.70/cwt, while the DMC feed cost formula dropped $0.04/cwt to $12.12/cwt of milk. There was a bit more drama inside the DMC feed cost formula, with a $0.35/cwt increase in the soybean meal price factor slightly more than offset by a combined drop in the prices of corn and premium alfalfa hay. During the first ten months of this year, the average monthly change, plus or minus, in the margin was $1.22/cwt, the average monthly change in the all-milk price was $1.15/cwt and the average monthly change in the DMC feed cost was $0.37/cwt.

With one more month in to be reported for last year, the 2023 average margin is on track to average about $6.80/cwt, which would be the second-lowest margin for the DMC and its predecessor Margin Protection Program (MPP), just above 2021’s average DMC margin of $6.70/cwt. The end-of year futures prices indicated the margins would average about $8.60/cwt during January-September this year but improve during the fourth quarter to average about $9.10/cwt for the year.