Barrels At Lowest Price In Nearly Two Years
Whereas the block and barrel market had been inching lower in the first few days of the new year, the barrel market took a giant stride forward to continue that trend. Prices declined 6 1/2 cents after 11 loads traded hands. The final price was $1.32 1/2. This takes out the summer low of $1.33 1/2 and moves prices back to a level not seen since spring 2016 when the value of barrel cheddar bottomed at $1.27. The block market followed suit, dropping 1/2 cent to finish at $1.49. We now maintain a 16 1/2 cent premium blocks over barrels.
CME spot butter markets got caught up in the spirit of it all following the barrel markets, dropping 4 3/4 cent to $2.19 per pound. It continues the back-and-forth trading that has continued since late October. Grade A nonfat dry milk dropped a 1/4 cent as well to finish at 67 3/4 cents.
Class III milk markets did not take the negative spot trade lightly. Prices through the first half of the year dropped 16 cents. The average for that period now rests at $13.77, it's lowest level yet. The whole year 2018 dropped to $14.63, down 11 cents. Class IV markets saw little trading and remained unchanged. The average price for the first half of the year is $13.64.