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CHICAGO, IL. – On the day before the start of June Dairy Month, there were positive vibes across the board in prices for dairy commodities in a very active spot market at the CME Group.

The price spread between Cheddar cheese blocks and barrels remained unusually high at 20 cents per pound at the close of the spot market on Wednesday of this week. Blocks gained 1.5 cent on the day to settle at $1.7450 per pound as two carloads were sold to put the week's total at eight sales.

On the heels of the sale of 15 carloads of Cheddar barrels on Tuesday, following the market holiday for Memorial Day on Monday, another 12 carloads were sold on Wednesday and an offer to sell four more carloads was not covered. The price rose by .50 cent to close at $1.5450 per pound.

AA butter continued its recent upward price ride with a 5 cent jump on Wednesday to close at $2.41 per pound. One carload was sold to put the week's total at seven sales. In addition, a bid for 11 carloads was not filled and an offer to sell four carloads was not covered.

Grade A non-fat dry milk gained 2 cents on Wednesday to close at 95.50 cents per pound. Five carloads were sold to boost the week's two-day total to 11 sales. The day's spot market also included an unfilled bid to buy eight carloads and an uncovered offer to sell 16 carloads.

Futures Markets

Class III milk futures markets responded to the spot market prices with double digit per hundred gains for six of the remaining months in 2017 in trading through early afternoon on Wednesday.

With only two more trading days remaining, the May futures price of $15.61 per hundred was easily the lowest on the trading board. Prices then rose to $16.72 per hundred for June, to the $17s for July through November, and to the upper half of the $16s per hundred for all months from December 2017 through April of 2019.

Dry whey futures prices for upcoming months were mixed as contracts were signed for most months through April of 2018 in trading by Wednesday afternoon. Prices ranged from a high of 48.925 cents per pound for June to lows of 36.025 cents for the summer months of 2018.

Dairy Export Report

On Tuesday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) announced the receipt of a batch of 25 bids for financial support on the export of dairy commodities. The bids came from Dairy Farmers of America, Foremost Farms USA, the Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) of Washington, United Dairymen of Arizona, Upstate Niagara O-AT-KA, and Tillamook County Creamery of Oregon.

Those cooperatives will be exporting a total of 3.536 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese and 703,275 pounds of butter to buyers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. Deliveries are scheduled until August.

This export assistance program, which dates to July of 2003, is funded with a 4 cent per hundred of milk checkoff by members of cooperatives in the National Milk Producers Federation and some independent producers who account for about 70 percent of the nation's milk production.

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