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Milk processor-distributors' 1981 pretax profits fell to 53 cents per hundredweight (cwt) of raw materials processed (RMP), 17 cents less than in 1980. Returns per cwt rose by $1.26, but costs rose by $1.43, 91 cents for raw materials and 52 cents for operating costs. Increases in total operating costs per cwt of RMP were largest for the smaller volume processors in 1981. For instance, costs for the five smallest processors jumped by 12.9 percent, but costs for the four largest rose 5.5 percent. Larger percentage increases in volume of RMP in 1981 for many of the larger plants apparently helped to increase productivity, thus holding down unit cost increases, especially for labor.


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