Class III Prices Sink Following Cold Storage Report
USDA released its March cold storage report on Monday afternoon and results were as expected, higher.
Cheese stocks recorded a new record of 1.293 billion pounds which results in an 8.5% increase from March of 2016 and 37.2 million pounds more than February 2017. Butter stocks also grew, but more modestly. March stocks were placed at 272.5 million pounds up 2.6 million pounds from February after leap year revisions to the February number.
CME spot product markets saw little trade on Tuesday other than butter. Butter traded 10 times and finished 6.25₵ higher at $2.1375 per pound. Neither Cheddar blocks nor barrels had trades or bids, but each left an offer hanging to finish unchanged at $1.5525 per pound on blocks and $1.4275 per pound on barrels. Grade A nonfat dry milk increase 0.75₵ to 85.25₵.
Class III milk prices began Tuesday with a softer tone and it continued south from there. May through November months traded 23₵ - 43₵ lower with June dropping the most. December and 2018 months saw no trade. Second half prices settled at an average price of $16.32 per cwt.
Class IV prices saw modest gains of 6₵ - 10₵ in June-September time frames on the higher butter trade. No other months traded.