The sale of seven carloads of AA butter on Tuesday of this week in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange highlighted an otherwise quiet market during the first two weeks of December.
The activity on Tuesday raised the spot market price for butter by .50-cent per pound for a day's closing price of $1.5950 - up by one cent from a week earlier.
In the relatively quiet Cheddar cheese spot market, the Tuesday session had one carload sale and one uncovered offer to sell as the price held at $1.66 per pound - down two cents from a week earlier.
For 40-pound Cheddar blocks, activity has been minimal this month and the price has stood at $1.76 per pound since November 30.
The dry whey futures market posted gains for all months through September of 2013 on Tuesday. This raised the per pound prices to 65.45 cents for December, 61 cents for January, and between 53 and 56 cents for all remaining months of 2013.
Despite a lack of support from the Cheddar cheese market, the Class III milk futures posted small to modest gains for all months of 2013 on Tuesday of this week. For December of 2012 and all of 2013, they stood in a very tight range of $18.04 to $18.70 per hundred.
The Class III cash price for milk shipped in November was $20.83 per hundred - the second highest for any month in 2012. This raised the Class III average for the first 11 months of 2012 to $17.33 per hundred compared to $18.37 for all of 2011.
Prices for other classes of milk in November were a national base of $20.70 per hundred for Class I fluid milk, $18.81 for Class II soft manufactured products, and $18.66 for Class IV (butter and milk powder).
That mix of numbers suggests a likelihood of a negative producer price differential for November - a number that was to be released on Thursday, Dec. 13.
Cooperatives Working Together received a package of 24 bids from Bongard's Creamery in Minnesota, the Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) in Washington, and United Dairymen of Arizona.
Those bids were for financial assistance on the export of 2.068 million pounds of Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Gouda cheeses and 947,988 pounds of butter to countries in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa in deliveries scheduled from December to May of 2013.