The spot market for dairy commodities on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was relatively quiet through Wednesday of this week but the Class III milk futures for nearby months were in red ink territory during the mid-week trading session.
The Class III futures lost 26 cents per hundred for July and 31 cents for August on Wednesday but they remained in the $18s per hundred for all remaining months of 2013 in trading through the early afternoon.
The range for 2013 was from $18.03 for June to $18.97 per hundred for August.
Part of the reason for the price cutback was the change of direction in the spot market price for 40-pound Cheddar cheese blocks after one week of small daily increases.
The block price slipped by 1.75-cent per pound on Wednesday to close at $1.7325.
There were two carload sales of blocks on Wednesday, bringing the total for the week to eight. Fifty carloads of Cheddar blocks were sold on the spot market last week. This was the highest weekly total since March of 2011.
The spot market closing prices on Wednesday were unusual in one way because the 500-pound Cheddar barrel prices were four cents higher than the blocks - at $1.7725 per pound.
The only activity on Wednesday in the barrel market, where two carload sales were made earlier in the week, was an uncovered offer to sell one carload.
With no activity during the week, the AA butter spot market price stood at $1.54 per pound. The Grade A non-fat dry milk spot market price went up .25-cent on one uncovered offer to sell, putting it at $1.6950 per pound - just below the Grade Extra price of $1.70 per pound.
The dry whey futures price fell for all four months of 2013 for which contracts were traded on Wednesday but the prices for the remaining months of the year held in a tight range of 58.050 to 59.975 cents per pound.
Each one cent of the dry whey price converts to about six cents per hundred in the base price for Class III milk.
For milk shipped in May, the national Class III price was $18.52 per hundred - up by 93 cents from April and by $3.29 per hundred compared to May of 2012.
Other prices for May were $18.43 per hundred for Class II and $18.89 for Class IV.
A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicated that 56,828 dairy cows were sent to slaughter during the first week of June. The total for 2013 is running at four percent more than a year ago.
Although Cooperatives Working Together did not report any new requests by its members for financial assistance on the export of dairy commodities during the past week, the organization did make some news nonetheless.
On Wednesday it announced that the voluntary checkoff for supporting the export program will be doubling - from two cents per hundred to four cents effective July 1-Dec. 31 of 2015.
It attributed the increase to the significant increase in the volume of the exports being subsidized by the checkoff.
Within the next week, the producer price differential in May for the Federal Milk Marketing Upper Midwest Order 30 and the national milk production data for May will be announced.