Prices slip at start of June Dairy Month

Ray Mueller
Now Media Group


After reaching recent highs in trading late last week, the spot market prices for Cheddar cheese at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange slipped as June Dairy Month began.

At the start of the trading week after the Memorial Day holiday, the Cheddar barrel and block prices stood at $1.44 and $1.38 per pound respectively. Price setbacks on Tuesday and Wednesday set them back to $1.4050 and $1.3625 per pound.

Three carloads of both barrels and blocks were sold on Wednesday in the spot market. The block market also had an unfilled bid for two carloads and an uncovered offer to sell one carload.

Non-fat dry milk up 4 cents

On the positive side for prices on Wednesday, Grade A non-fat dry milk tacked on 4 cents to close at 82 cents per pound after a market session with two carload sales and an uncovered offer to sell two carloads.

The AA butter spot market price held at $2.0725 per pound on Wednesday. The day's only activity was an unfilled bid to buy one carload.

Futures markets

Class III milk futures posted relatively small per hundred gains for most months of 2016 – 10 cents for June and 11 cents for August — despite no support from the day's spot market prices for Cheddar cheese. Most of the contracts traded on Wednesday were for June, July, and August of 2016.

With only two more trading days remaining, the Class III futures for May stood at $12.80 per hundred. Other prices were $12.89 for June, $13.01 for July, and $13.81 for August before they rose into the $14s for the four remaining months of 2016 and the $15s for all subsequent months through March of 2018.

The dry whey futures prices ranged from a low of 24.9 cents per pound for June 2016 to highs of just over 30 cents for December 2016 through May of 2017. Each one cent of the dry whey price converts to a value of about six cents per hundred in the Class III milk price.

Milk price updates

For the milk they shipped in April, dairy farmers in Wisconsin received a weighted average of $15.60 per hundred. This was 20 cents less than in March and $2 below the all-milk price for April of 2015.

The United States average for April was $15 per hundred — down 30 cents from March. Prices in other top milk production states included $16.20 in Pennsylvania, $16.10 in New York, $15.60 in Minnesota, $14.70 in Idaho, $14 in Michigan, and $13.63 in California.

The Class I fluid milk national base price for June is $13.14 per hundred for milk with 3.5 percent butterfat. This is a decline of 56 cents from the May price.

Export report

On Tuesday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the receipt of bids from Foremost Farms and Tillamook County Creamery for financial assistance on the export of 259,043 pounds of Cheddar cheese and 41,888 pounds of butter.

Those products will be going to buyers in Asia and the Middle East. Deliveries are scheduled from June to November.