After several weeks of major price swings and some high daily trading volumes, a relatively quiet period set in during the week ending on Wednesday of this week for dairy commodities in the spot market on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
There were no price changes for Cheddar cheese and AA butter on Wednesday. Three carloads of Cheddar barrels were sold earlier in the week but the only market activity on Wednesday was an uncovered offer to sell one carload of butter.
As a result, the day's prices remained at $2.1075 per pound for Cheddar cheese blocks, $2.0675 for Cheddar barrels, and $1.77 for AA butter. Those are per pound price upticks of .25 cent for blocks, .50 cent for barrels, and 2 cents for butter from a week earlier.
In the spot market for Grade A non-fat dry milk on Wednesday, an unfilled bid for one carload boosted the price by 1.25 cent per pound to $2.0425. Six carloads were sold earlier in the week.
What would be record cash prices for nearby months persisted in the Class III milk futures market through Wednesday of this week. Small price gains were posted for every month from March through December in 2014.
Prices on the trading board on Wednesday afternoon were $23.14 per hundred for February, $21.31 for March, and a new high of $20.55 for April. For the remainder of 2014, the futures prices were on a steady downward trend from the $19.63 for May to the $17.85 per hundred for December.
Although there was no trading on Wednesday, prices remained strong in the dry whey futures market. They stood in a range from a high of 63.95 cents per pound for March to a low of 55.5 cents for December. This suggests a contribution of between $3.75 and $3.35 per hundred to the Class III milk price.
The producer price differential for Federal Milk Marketing Order 30 in January is 20 cents per hundred for the Chicago base zone. It drops down to 0 for the most distant milk receiving plants because of the transportation factor.
During the month, more than 2.871 billion pounds of milk were pooled in Order 30. Milk uses were 86.1 percent in Class III, 11.4 percent in Class I, and a total of 2.5 percent in Class II and IV. The pooled milk had averages of 3.89 percent butterfat, 3.18 percent protein, and 5.71 percent other solids.
On Tuesday of this week, Cooperatives Working Together announced the receipt of a batch of 21 bids for financial assistance on the export of 4.149 million pounds of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese and 874,780 pounds of 82 percent butter to countries in Asia, Europe, Central America, the Middle East, and North Africa for delivery by April.
The bids were submitted by Bongard's Creamery, Land O'Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, the Maryland and Virginia Milk Cooperative, Darigold Cooperative, and Tillamook Creamery.
The national milk production statistics for January were due to be released yesterday afternoon (Thursday, Feb. 20).