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DMC Margin Decline Slows Significantly in March

May 3, 2023

Following three straight months when the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) margin dropped by well over $1.00/cwt, the margin dropped again in March, but by just 11 cents from February.

The milk price was down again, for the fifth month in a row, to $21.10/cwt, $0.50/cwt less than the month before, and feed costs were down by almost as much, $0.40/cwt, the first monthly drop on the DMC feed cost since last November. The lower feed costs were driven almost equally by drops in the prices of all three feed components of the formula, when expressed on a milk equivalent basis. The March DMC margin of $6.08/cwt will result in a payment of $3.42/cwt for Tier 1 coverage at the maximum $9.50/cwt level.

Available forecasts currently indicate that the monthly DMC margins are close to bottoming out for the year, at around $6.00/cwt in a month or two, followed by a slow rise that still looking may not exceed $9.50/cwt until the fourth quarter.