As businesses closed their doors and stay-at-home orders were put in place, consumers purchased more dairy products, the National Milk Producers Federation says.

According to reports by IRI — a consumer market research company — milk sales for the period from March 8 to March 22 were up 43% from last year, while butter doubled, yogurt rose 31%, ice cream grew 40% and cheese jumped 76%. Dairy sales fell from March 23 to May 17, but remained 25% higher than the previous year.

While COVID-19 may have prompted an increase in the retail purchase of dairy products, sales to restaurants, schools and cafeterias have dropped, leading to reductions in forecast milk prices. The USDA monthly forecast for milk prices dropped from $18.25 per hundredweight in March to $14.35 per hundredweight in April. In May, it rose to $14.55 per hundredweight.

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