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CHICAGO, IL

Other than being fairly active in spot market sales, the dairy market did not exhibit any strong trends on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) through Wednesday of this week.

Prices for dairy commodities varied during the day's trading session. As a result, the price difference between Cheddar cheese blocks and barrels is the smallest that it has been for several months.

Cheddar blocks slipped by 1 cent per pound on Wednesday to close at $1.46 as two carloads were sold to put the week's total at five. Cheddar barrels tacked on 1 cent to close at $1.4525 per pound as the result of one carload sale to bring the week's total to three sales on the CME.

Butter uptrend

Small advances in the AA butter spot market price continued on Wednesday with a .50-cent gain for a closing price of $1.9550 per pound — up by 3.5 cents from a week earlier. Nine carloads were sold on Wednesday to boost the week's total to 14 sales. The day's activity also included an uncovered offer to sell one carload and an unfilled bid to buy one carload.

The Grade A non-fat dry milk price lost 1.25 cents on Wednesday to close at 71.50 cents per pound. Five carloads were sold to put the week's total at eight sales. An offer to sell one carload was not covered and a bid for one carload was not filled.

Futures markets

Futures prices for Class III milk contracts posted gains of 12 cents per hundred and 10 cents for August of 2016 in trades early on Wednesday afternoon. Prices for April through June 2016 ranged from $13.76 to $13.87 per hundred.

Prices were holding in the $14s per hundred from July 2016 through June of 2017. For a handful of contract trades for January through March of 2017, prices were down by 7 cents per hundred. With no trading activity, prices stood in the $15s per hundred for July 2017 through March of 2018.

In a futures market showing trades for only nearby months, dry whey futures prices ranged from a low of 25 cents per pound for May to a high of 30.25 cents for February of 2017. For the months in the upcoming two years, prices average between 27 and 28 cents per pound.

Export support report

On Monday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the receipt of a batch of 11 bids from Dairy Farmers of America, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), and the Tillamook County Creamery of Oregon for financial assistance on contracts to export dairy products for March through September of 2016.

Those products are 3.948 million pounds of whole milk powder and 2.216 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. They are going to buyers in Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

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