Chicago, Ill. -  Active price movements and trading volumes have marked the past week for dairy commodities in the spot market at the CME Group.

On Wednesday of this week, Class III milk futures for all months from April through September of 2017 posted gains of 17 to 21 cents per hundred. Except for the $15.97 per hundred for March and the $17.01 for September, all of the other monthly futures prices through February of 2019 were in the $16s per hundred.

The dry whey futures followed suit on Wednesday with price gains for all months through October of 2017. During a busy market day, 25 to 33 contracts were traded per month for April, May, and June of this year. After several weeks of a very narrow price spread, the trading board had a closing price range of a high of 49.4 cents per pound for March 2017 to lows of 38.5 cents for the autumn months in 2018.

Commodity markets

A number of busy trading sessions occurred in the spot market for dairy commodities within the past week. This started with the sale of 14 carloads of AA butter on Thursday, March 2. On Tuesday of this week, 16 carloads of Cheddar barrels and 8 of Grade A non-fat dry milk were sold on the spot market.

On Wednesday of this week, 7 more carloads of Cheddar barrels were sold as the price gained 2 cents to close at $1.45 per pound. A bid to buy one carload was not filled and an offer to sell one carload was not covered.

Cheddar cheese blocks lost 2 cents per pound on Wednesday to close at $1.44 per pound. Three carloads were sold, a bid to buy one carload was not filled, and an offer to sell one carload was not covered.

The AA butter price moved back up by 3 cents to close at $2.1975 per pound as one carload was sold, a bid for one carload was not filled, and an offer to sell one carload was not covered.

In the Grade A non-fat dry milk market, a bid to buy five carloads was not filled while an offer to sell five carloads was not covered. As this happened, the price rose by 1 cent to close at 81 cents per pound.

February class prices

The national Class III base price in for February on milk at 3.5 percent butterfat is $16.88 per hundred. This is an increase of $3.08 from February of 2016.

The Class II price (soft dairy products) of $16.52 per hundred is an increase of $2.22 from a year earlier. The Class IV price (butter and milk powders) of $15.59 is up by $2.10 from February of 2016.

Dairy export report

On Monday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) announced the receipt of a total of 23 bids from Dairy Farmers of America, the Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), and the Tillamook County Creamery of Oregon for financial assistance on the export of 4.616 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.

Shipments are going to buyers in Asia, Central America, North Africa, and Oceania. Deliveries are scheduled from March through June of this year.

CWT, which was launched in 2003, is supported by a 4 cent per hundred checkoff by members of more than 30 dairy cooperatives and by more than 100 independent dairy farmers in numerous states.

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