Class III milk prices
weaken for early 2014
Except for price setbacks on the Class III milk futures for the first half of 2014, a relatively quiet period has settled into the daily activities on the dairy market.
On Wednesday of this week, there was no sale of Cheddar cheese on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's spot market. The only activity was an unfilled bid for one carload of Cheddar barrels.
As a result, the spot market prices remained at $1.77 per pound for Cheddar blocks and $1.76 for barrels. Earlier in the week, four carloads of blocks were sold.
The AA butter spot market price held at $1.43 per pound following one carload sale, one unfilled bid, and one uncovered offer to sell on Wednesday. Four carloads were sold earlier in the week.
There was no activity in the spot market for non-fat dry milk for the first three days of this week. Prices were standing at $1.7825 per pound for Grade A and $1.73 for Grade Extra.
Dry whey futures prices have stabilized, trading in a very tight range of 58-59.25 cents per pound for the remaining months of 2013. The price has risen to 51.5 cents per pound for July of 2014.
In the Class III milk futures market, however, the February and March 2014 prices fell by 70 cents per hundred during the week ending on Wednesday of this week.
With prices also falling in adjacent months, the Class III futures were trading in a range of $16.40-$16.92 per hundred for the first half of 2014.
Trading had already been concluded by Wednesday for the July 2013 futures which promise to convert to a cash price of about $17.35 per hundred. The highest Class III prices on the trading board on Wednesday of this week were $18.71 for September and $18.69 for October - both in 2013.
A recent report indicated that monthly dairy cow slaughter numbers are falling.
The federally inspected total was approximately 220,000 in June, down by 28,000 head from May and by 9,000 from June of 2012. The year's high was 297,000 head in January - the highest monthly total since 1986.
Early this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the acceptance of a batch of 14 bids from Bongard's Creamery of Minnesota, Land O'Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, and Darigold Cooperative of Seattle.
The bids were for financial assistance on the export of 1.206 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese and 947,988 pounds of butter to countries in Central America, Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Deliveries are scheduled through December of 2013.