Dairy Markets Prove Resilient

Dairy Markets Prove Resilient

October 8, 2020

Consumers Turning to Comfort Food Has Helped

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network

It’s been a volatile year for most agricultural commodities, but dairy might have experienced it most intensely. Prices started the year very strong, but were hit hard in the spring as the pandemic spread. Since that time though, they have recovered.

UC Davis Agricultural Economist Dr. Dan Sumner,  said cheese has led the way. “One of the issues is cheese markets have boomed and other markets haven't. We've shifted from people consuming their cheese on a cheeseburger they grabbed at the fast food place to now consuming their cheese in their grilled cheese sandwich they eat at home. Or the macaroni and cheese as we went all back to comfort food in the spring,” explained Sumner.

“These kinds of volatilities are partly because of the shutdown and the milk market, even though there were some videos showing people dumping milk, that was not particularly common. It was terrible. It's emotional for me and everybody else who cares about the milk market,” said Sumner.

“You hate to see milk poured out. But it was a headline because it was rare. And I do think that was a temporary thing; it got settled pretty quickly. And the dairy industry has really been remarkably resilient. And the marketing side of the industry just did a great job.”

Dr. Sumner applauded the dairy producers and marketers for their resilience during this difficult time as they’ve had to pivot from food service to accommodate consumers eating at home.

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