Some of the highest all-milk average prices in the first half of 2013 are being paid to dairy farmers for the milk they shipped to the commercial market during May.
The average all-milk prices for May are comparable to those paid in January.
According to the monthly report issued early this week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and its Wisconsin field office, dairy farmers in the state can expect an average all-milk price (before deductions) of $20.50 per hundred for May.
This is 60 cents more than the April price, 70 cents above the weighted average for the United States during May, and well above the May 2012 all-milk price of $17 per hundred.
Among the top 10 milk production states, the all-milk prices for May include $21 per hundred in Pennsylvania, $20.70 in Minnesota, $20.60 in New York, $19.90 in both Michigan and Idaho, $19.00 in New Mexico, and $18.30 in California.
Despite an all-milk price increase for May in all 10 of the top states, the milk to feed price ratio for the month edged up only slightly to 1.55 compared to the 1.54 for April and the 1.48 for March.
That's because of an accompanying average overall increase in the prices of feedstuffs to constitute a 16-percent protein dairy ration - up by 40 cents per bushel for soybeans to $14.80 and by $6 per ton to $221 for dry alfalfa hay while the per bushel price of corn slipped by 9 cents to $6.88 for May.
After several weeks of fallbacks, prices for Cheddar cheese strengthened in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday of this week.
Price gains of 2.75 cents per pound for blocks and 4.5 cents for barrels put the day's closing prices at $1.7350 and $1.73 per pound, respectively.
Eight carloads of Cheddar blocks were sold in the spot market session on Wednesday, bringing the total to 21 for the first three days of this week.
The day's market activity included two carload sales of barrels and unfilled bids for three carloads of blocks and two of barrels.
An unfilled bid for one carload of AA butter was the only spot market activity on Wednesday as the price stood at $1.54 per pound.
Price gains for several months of 2013 put the dry whey futures in a tight range of 58-59 cents per pound for the remainder of 2013.
Class III milk futures reacted very favorably to the spot market cheese gains, tacking on 51 cents per hundred for July and 47 cents per hundred for August in contracts traded on Wednesday.
This put the Class III futures in the $18s per hundred for all remaining months of 2013 before sliding to the lower half of the $17s for a majority of months in 2014.
Cooperatives Working Together has announced the receipt of a total of eight bids from Dairy Farmers of America and the Darigold Cooperative of Seattle.
The bids were for financial assistance on the export of 2.075 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to countries in North Africa and Asia. Deliveries are scheduled from June to November.