Year closes with the
all-milk price topping
$20 per hundred in state
The all-milk price for December is projected to average $20.70 per hundred in Wisconsin, according to an announcement this week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service and its Wisconsin field office.
This price is down by 60 cents per hundred from November but is still 90 cents above the United States average for December.
With the national all-milk average price of $19.80 per hundred for December, the average all-milk price for 2011 was $20.14 per hundred, topping the previous record of $19.13 set in 2007.
Among the top milk production states, the highest all-milk price for December is the $21.80 per hundred in Pennsylvania. Following are New York at $21.00, Michigan at $20.90, and Minnesota at $20.70 while the lowest prices for the month are $19.00 in Idaho, $18.90 in New Mexico, and $17.20 in California.
Average milk butterfat tests are at or near their high point in a yearly cycle with Texas posting a 3.92 percent average in December with the help of its significant number of Jersey cows. Minnesota was at 3.91 percent, New York and Pennsylvania at 3.85 percent, and Wisconsin matched both its November average and the United States average for December at 3.83 percent.
The 60-cent per hundred average decline in December all-milk price contributed to a relatively low milk to feed price ratio of 1.88 for the month.
Feed prices used for the ratio were $5.44 per bushel for corn, $11.10 per bushel for soybeans, and $199 per ton for dry alfalfa hay. The overall feed cost was calculated at $10.53 per hundred of milk production.
The Class II milk cash price announced within the past week for December is $18.77 per hundred. This is up from the $18.03 for November but is not likely to be matched anytime soon, according to the current Class III milk futures prices.
The Class IV cash price for December had already dropped to $16.87 per hundred.
With modest declines at mid-week for the first quarter of 2012, the Class III milk futures prices remained in the lower half of the $17s per hundred for all months of the year. They then drop into the $16s and $15s per hundred for 2013.
A Class I fluid milk national base price of $18.80 per hundred has been announced for January. Because of the timing for which that price was determined, this is up from the $18.47 for December.
In the cash spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, activity picked up on Wednesday of this week for Cheddar cheese. The day's activity for blocks was the sale of four carloads, an unfilled bid to buy three carloads, and an uncovered offer to sell one carload while barrels had one carload sale and an unfilled bid for two carloads.
The day's price rose by 1.75 cents per pound to $1.58 for blocks and slipped by .25-cent to $1.5775 for barrels.
The spot market price for AA butter held at $1.60 per pound on Wednesday as one carload was sold and a bid for two carloads was not filled.
With a period of no activity continuing, spot market prices stand at $1.48 and $1.45 per pound respectively for Grade Extra and Grade A non-fat dry milk.
Although the prices dropped slightly on Wednesday for seven months in 2012 in the futures market for dry whey, the prices for the year were still quite strong, topping out at 69 cents for February before sliding to 52.5 cents per pound for the latter months of the year.