Following a period of price stability and minimal trading activity that lasted for nearly two weeks, prices for Cheddar cheese and AA butter broke during the spot market trading session at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday of this week.
After holding at $2.10 per pound for Cheddar cheese since Oct. 3 and at $2.06 per pound for Cheddar barrels since Oct. 4, both shed nine cents per pound on Tuesday of this week as the result of offers to sell one carload that were not covered.
In the same market session, the AA butter spot market price fell by 5.5 cents per pound from its previous close of $1.93 as three carloads were sold and an offer to sell one carload was not covered.
There was a bit of foreshadowing of the price drop for dairy commodities when the spot market price for Grade A non-fat dry milk fell by three cents per pound on both Thursday and Friday of last week.
This put the non-fat dry milk prices at $1.60 per pound for Grade A and $1.6350 for Grade Extra, which is where they stood through Tuesday of this week.
The sharp drop in the Cheddar cheese spot market prices prompted a near daily market limit (75 cents per hundred) cutback in the Class III milk futures for nearby months early in the trading session on Tuesday. By the end of the day, there was a bit of a recovery for those months.
At the close of the Class III milk futures trading on Tuesday, the October price had fallen by 11 cents to $21.05 per hundred, November by 60 cents to $20.37, and December by 55 cents to $20.08.
The futures prices held in the $19s per hundred for the first quarter of 2013 before falling into the $18s per hundred for 2013.
The red ink in the dairy commodity market also spilled into the dry whey futures market on Tuesday of this week.
Prices declined modestly for nearby months, leaving them at just over 60 cents per pound for the remainder of 2012 and in the high 50s per pound through August of 2013.
For the third consecutive month, the producer price differential (PPD) in the Upper Midwest federal milk marketing order 30 is a negative number.
For milk pooled in Order 30 for September, the base zone (Chicago) differential is minus 14 cents per hundred - a number that increases to 34 cents per hundred for the most distant milk receiving plants in the marketing order.
With the negative PPD, the amount of milk pooled in Order 30 for September dropped to a recent monthly low of just under 2.073 billion pounds. Of that milk, uses were a recent monthly high of 15.1 percent in Class I, recent monthly low of 72.1 percent in Class III, 8.4 percent in Class II, and 4.4 percent in Class IV.
The pooled milk had averages of 3.74 percent butterfat, 3.09 percent protein, and 5.73 percent other solids.
Cooperatives Working Together has accepted a package of eight bids from Darigold Cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, and the Upstate Niagara Cooperative.
The bids were for financial assistance on the export of 2.798 million pounds of cheese and 302,033 pounds of butter to countries in Central America, Asia, and the Middle East in deliveries set from October through March of 2013.