Sales volumes high for butter, cheese barrels

Ray Mueller, Correspondent


AA butter makes big gains.

CHICAGO, IL. – High sales volumes for both AA butter and Cheddar cheese barrels highlighted the spot market for dairy commodities at the CME Group during the first three days of this week.

Four carloads of AA butter were sold in the spot market on Wednesday, boosting the week's total to 29 carload sales. As the price gained .50 cent to close at $2.12 per pound, the day's market also included an unfilled bid to buy one carload and an uncovered offer to sell one carload.

Twenty four carloads of Cheddar cheese barrels were sold on Wednesday to put the week's total at 26 sales. A bid for another 10 carloads was not filled. The barrel price lost 1.5 cents on Wednesday to close at $1.40 per pound.

The Cheddar cheese block price held at $1.48 per pound as a bid for one carload was not filled on Wednesday. No carload sales were made during the first three days of the week.

Three carloads of Grade A non-fat dry milk were sold on Wednesday to raise the week's total to six carload sales. A bid for one carload was not filled. The price held at 85.25 cents per pound.

Futures markets

Class III milk futures for all remaining months of 2017 posted modest losses in trades through early afternoon on Wednesday. There was no trading activity for any month after February of 2018.

The lowest per hundred prices were for nearby months – $15.30 for May, $15.40 for June, and $15.94 for July. The Class III national base price for April for milk at 3.5 percent butterfat was to be announced yet this week. It is likely to be very close to $15.20 per hundred. That would be a drop of 61 cents from March.

For all months from August 2017 through April of 2019, the Class III milk futures are holding in the $16s per hundred. The average for that period is slightly over $16.50 per hundred.

Dry whey futures prices feature a price high of 49.275 cents per pound for May. The prices then gradually drop to a low of 35 cents per pound for the spring months of 2018.

Cooperatives Working Together has announced a request from its members for financial assistance on four contracts to export 493,836 pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese to buyers in Asia for delivery by July.