Cheddar cheese prices in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange continued their recent decline in trading through Wednesday of this week.
On offers to sell one carload that were not covered, Cheddar blocks and barrels lost 3.5 and 4 cents per pound respectively on Wednesday to close at $2.1350 and $2.13. Five carloads of blocks were sold in the spot market on Wednesday.
Spot market prices for AA butter have reversed course, advancing by 4 cents per pound to $1.95 on Wednesday thanks to an unfilled bid to buy one carload. Grade A non-fat dry milk continued its price slide with another 1.25-cent drop to $1.7875 per pound on Wednesday as the result of an uncovered offer to sell one carload.
Despite the spot market setback in prices for three of the dairy commodities, Class III milk futures prices posted gains of 20 cents per hundred for May, 48 cents for June, and 32 cents for July in trading into the afternoon on Wednesday. That put the per hundred prices at $22.68, $21.34, and $20.55 respectively for those three months — down from the April futures closing price of $24.32 per hundred.
Futures price gains extended all the way through June of 2015. Prices were in the $19s per hundred for the third quarter of 2014, in the $18s per hundred for November 2014 through March of 2015, and in the high $17s per hundred for the second quarter of 2015.
Dry whey futures prices were also in green ink territory for the remaining months of 2014 on Wednesday. They stood at a record high of 67.55 cents per pound for May and 67 cents for June before descending to 56.75 cents per pound by December and the low 50s by mid-2015.
The national Class I fluid milk price for May is a record $24.47 per hundred. This is an increase of 82 cents from the April price.
On Tuesday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the receipt of 26 bids from Bongards Creamery, Foremost Farms, Dairy Farmers of America, United Dairymen of Arizona, and the Michigan Milk Producers Association for financial assistance on the export of cheese, butter, and whole milk powder to countries in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and North Africa, and the Middle East.
Those bids totaled 873,031 pounds of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese, 3.748 million pounds of 82 percent butter, and 2.668 million pounds of whole milk powder for deliveries scheduled from April to October.
According to a recent report by the United States Dairy Export Council, the country exported a record 698 million pounds of cheese in 2013 — a 22 percent increase from 2012 and nearly a fivefold jump since 2005. New Zealand was bumped into second place among cheese-exporting countries with its 610 million pounds in 2013.