Thanks to unfilled bids to buy one carload, the Cheddar cheese spot market prices for both blocks and barrels hit price highs for 2013 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday of this week.
A carload sale and a bid combined to raise the Cheddar block price by 2.25 cents for a day's closing price of $1.9725 per pound. A single bid raised the Cheddar barrel price by 5 cents to $1.89 per pound. Those were price increases of 8.25 and 11 cents, respectively, per pound from a week earlier.
Spot market prices for non-fat dry milk remained at a multi-year high of $2.11 per pound for Grade A and $2.09 for Grade Extra on Wednesday. Those were respective per pound increases of 4 and 5 cents from a week earlier.
The AA butter spot market, however, was headed in the opposite direction on prices. Prices fell by a total of 9 cents per pound last week Thursday and Friday and another 2 cents earlier this week for a trading price of $1.55 per pound on Wednesday. That price stood after two carload sales, one unfilled bid to buy, and an uncovered offer to sell one carload.
The Class III milk futures prices for early months in 2014 reacted very positively on Wednesday to the spot market cheese prices. Monthly price gains of 10 to 32 cents per hundred were on the trading board for the first five months of the new year.
If the current futures price of $19.01 per hundred for December of 2013 holds, it would likely translate into the highest Class III milk cash price for any month in the year. In afternoon trading on Wednesday, the January futures stood at $19.23 per hundred while February through April were in the $18s and all remaining months of 2014 were in the $17s per hundred.
Dry whey futures prices remain steady and strong. In trading on Wednesday, the prices for all months in 2014 were between 61 and 55.8 cents per pound.
The November producer price differential in Federal Milk Marketing Order 30, which covers all but two counties in Wisconsin and parts of adjacent states, was 33 cents per hundred in the Chicago base zone. For the most distance milk receiving plants, the amount would be 13 cents because of the transportation cost.
Of the more than 2.743 billion pounds of milk pooled in Order 30 for November, 86 percent was used in Class III for cheese production and 11.5 percent in Class I for fluid milk bottling. Other uses were 1.8 percent in Class II for soft dairy products and .7 percent in Class IV for butter and milk powder.
The pooled milk had high component averages of 3.93 percent butterfat and 3.21 percent protein along with 5.7 percent other solids.
Milk production numbers for November were to be announced on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 19).