A recent volume high of 11 carload sales of AA butter highlighted the spot market for dairy commodities at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday of this week.
With the inclusion of an unfilled bid to buy another five carloads, the day's session raised the price by five cents per pound to $1.5550.
An uncovered offer to sell one carload of Cheddar barrel cheese docked the price by .25-cent per pound for a day's close of $1.53 per pound - a decline of 7 cents from a week earlier. Seven carloads of barrels were sold earlier in the week.
The Cheddar block cheese spot market remained quiet on Wednesday. The price stood at $1.6450 per pound - down by 1.5-cents from a week earlier. In another quiet spot market, non-fat dry milk prices remained at $1.53 per pound for Grade A and $1.56 for Grade Extra.
In the dry whey futures market on Wednesday, prices slipped for most months of 2013. Near the end of the trading day, prices for the remainder of 2013 ranged from a high of 59.975 cents per pound for February to a low of 53 cents in May.
The Class III milk futures posted very small price gains for most months of 2013 during Wednesday's trading period. Prices for nearby months were at $17.07 per hundred for February, $16.67 for March, $16.91 for April, and $17.45 for May.
For the last half of 2013, the Class III futures were still in the $18s per hundred for every month.
With the January futures already off the trading board, the latest completed futures contracts indicated a Class III cash price of approximately $18.12 per hundred on milk shipped during January.
On Wednesday morning of this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the acceptance of a package of 30 bids from Bongard's Creamery, Foremost Farms, Land O'Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, United Dairymen of Arizona, Upstate Niagara O-AT-KA, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, and the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative.
The bids were for price assistance on the export of 7.579 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, 1.16 million pounds of butter, and 44,092 pounds of whole milk powder to countries in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Oceania. The deliveries are scheduled from February to June.
A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that 3.101 million dairy cows were sent to federally-inspected slaughter plants in 2012. This was the highest number in 26 years and was 187,000 head more than in 2011.
The record high of 3.595 million head sent to slaughter in 1986 was influenced greatly by the dairy herd buyout that was in effect at the time.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection reported that on Jan. 1 the state had 11,155 dairy herds licensed to ship milk to the commercial market. This was down by 20 herds from Dec. 1 and by 606 herds from Jan. 1 of 2012.