After nearly a month of holding below that number, Cheddar cheese prices for both blocks and barrels moved above $2 per pound this week in spot market trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
With a .75-cent gain on Wednesday of this week, Cheddar barrels led the way on CME cheese prices on the day's closing price of $2.04 per pound — up 9.25 cents from a week earlier. The sale of six carloads during the trading session brought the total for the first three days of this week to 11.
Three carload sales of Cheddar blocks on Wednesday put the week's total at 14. The price increased by .25-cent to $2.0025 per pound — up 5.5 cents from a week earlier.
Although the AA butter spot market was quiet on Wednesday, 19 carloads had been sold on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The price stood at $2.39 per pound.
There was activity across the board for Grade A non-fat dry milk on Wednesday with two carload sales, a bid to buy one carload that was not filled, and an offer to sell one carload that was not covered. Despite that activity, the price remained at $1.7350 per pound.
In a very unusual development, there were virtually no changes in the futures market prices for both Class III milk and dry whey on Wednesday afternoon of this week. Only five of the months through 2015 had any per hundred price change (maximum of 3 cents per hundred) on Class III milk while the price chart was similar for dry whey.
Futures prices for Class III milk stood at a high of $21.46 per hundred for July and $21.30 for August (up by 91 cents from a week earlier) before sliding to $20.36 for September and $20 for October.
Class III futures then drop to the $18s per hundred for the first 10 months of 2015. One exception to the price stability on Wednesday of this week was the 29-cent per hundred jump — to $17.50 — for the Class III futures in January of 2016.
Dry whey futures prices also showed minimal movement on Wednesday. They were 67.5 cents per pound for July, 60.5 cents for October, and at 51 cents per pound or above for all subsequent months through September of 2015.
Class I fluid milk continued to lag in the percentage of use for milk pooled in Federal Milk Marketing Order 30, according to the monthly report for June. Class I usage accounted for only 9.1 percent of the nearly 2.9 billion pounds of milk pooled in Order 30 for June.
Of the pooled milk, 88.5 percent went into Class III (cheese production). Usage in Classes II and IV covered the remaining 2.4 percent.
The pooled milk had averages of 3.67 percent butterfat, 3.02 percent protein, and 5.76 percent other solids. For June, the producer price differential was 43 cents per hundred in the Chicago base zone and 23 cents per hundred in the most distant milk receiving plants due to the location adjustment for transportation.