A two-week pattern of almost daily price gains for dairy commodities in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange continued through Wednesday of this week.
Price highs for calendar year 2013 were set on Wednesday as Cheddar cheese blocks picked up another 1.5-cent per pound during four carload sales and an unfilled bid to buy one carload as the price closed at $1.8850.
The same was true for Cheddar cheese barrels as the price rose by .25-cent per pound to $1.76 following three carload sales and one unfilled bid.
The spot market price of AA butter gained 1 cent per pound on Wednesday to close at $1.78. The only market activity was one carload sale.
Non-fat dry milk's spot market was quiet on Wednesday but the prices stood at 2013 highs of $1.7850 per pound for Grade A and $1.70 for Grade Extra.
The price strengthen pattern carried over to the Class III milk futures market on Wednesday with gains of 18-25 cents per hundred for upcoming months.
Trading prices early on Wednesday afternoon were $17.66 per hundred for April before jumping to $19.26 for May and even higher into the $19s through September before scaling back to the $17s per hundred for the first half of 2014.
Dry whey futures followed suit with price increases for several nearby months. This put the prices at slightly over 60 cents per pound for a majority of the remaining months of 2013.
The producer price differential in Federal Milk Marketing Order 30 for milk shipped and pooled during March is 33 cents per hundred in the Chicago base zone but as little as 13 cents per hundred for the most distant milk receiving plants.
With the $16.93 per hundred Class III cash price, this puts the statistical uniform price for March at $17.26 per hundred in Order 30.
During March, nearly 3.009 billion pounds of milk were pooled for pricing in Order 30. Of that milk, the processor usage was 86.9 percent for Class III (cheese production), 10.4 percent in Class I (fluid milk), 1.8 percent in Class II (soft dairy products), and .9 percent in Class IV (butter and milk powder).
The pooled milk had averages of 3.87 percent butterfat, 3.14 percent protein, and 5.74 percent other solids.
Cooperatives Working Together has received a package of 28 bids from Dairy Farmers of America, Foremost Farms USA, United Dairymen of Arizona, and the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative.
The bids were for financial assistance on the export of 1.984 million pounds of Cheddar cheese and 2.222 million pounds of butter to customers in Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Deliveries are scheduled from April to September.
The first scaled back version of national monthly milk production (for March) is scheduled to be released this afternoon (April 19).