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Cheddar cheese blocks anchor dairy commodity market prices

June 14, 2012 | 0 comments

The spot market price for 40-pound Cheddar cheese blocks has been moving up and down almost daily in recent weeks on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) but Wednesday of this week was another up day in that cash market.

An unfilled bid to buy one carload on Wednesday boosted the Cheddar block price by five cents per pound to $1.70, which was 9.75 cents higher than a week earlier. The only carload sale of the week also took place on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the price for 500-pound Cheddar barrels remained at $1.5650 per pound on Wednesday following an unfilled bid to buy. That price is 4.25 cents higher than a week earlier.

No carloads of barrels were sold through Wednesday of this week on the CME.

The spot market price for AA butter picked up four cents per pound on Wednesday as the result of an unfilled bid to buy one carload. The day's closing price of $1.45 per pound was 4.5 cents above that of a week earlier.

Upward price movement also occurred in the non-fat dry milk spot market on Wednesday. An unfilled bid to buy boosted the Grade Extra price by four cents to $1.16 per pound.

Grade A non-fat dry milk tacked on .50-cent per pound on Wednesday to close at $1.22 following one carload sale, one uncovered offer, and one unfilled bid to buy.

Four carloads of Grade A were sold in the spot market during the first three days of this week.

Dry whey futures were mixed for the remaining months of 2012 on Wednesday but all of day's closing prices for those months were between 54.5 and 50.9 cents per pound. They then tail off to the low 40s and high 30s for all of 2013 and into 2014.

Despite the apparent strength in dairy commodity prices, the Class III milk futures did not follow along on Wednesday. Instead, modest losses were posted for all months from July through December of 2012.

Nonetheless, this June's closing price of $15.71 per hundred was the lowest monthly price on the trading board through December of 2013.

Prices for nearby months were $16.54 per hundred for July, $16.95 for August, $16.92 for September, and $16.93 for October. The futures price then slide into the lower half of the $16s per hundred throughout 2013.

A producer price differential (PPD) of 22 cents per hundred was announced this week for the 3.0454 billion pounds of milk pooled in the Federal Milk Marketing Order 30 (Chicago) during May.

When the zoned transportation fee is subtracted, most shippers are left with a PPD of 12, 7, or 2 cents per hundred.

Of the pooled milk, 81.2 percent was used in Class III (cheese production), 10.5 percent in Class I (fluid milk), a relatively high 6 percent in Class II, and 2.3 percent in Class IV.

That milk had averages of 3.7 percent butterfat, 3.04 percent protein, and 5.76 percent other solids.

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