Blocks and Barrels Go Separate Ways
When it comes to the path that block and barrel cheese travel, for the most part it's hand in hand, whether that be up or down. However on Tuesday's trade their paths took opposite directions. Block cheese rose 6 cents to $1.61 on limited trading with only two loads being exchanged between buyer and seller. Barrels moved 5 cents lower on 14 trades finishing at $1.54. This divergent trade brings the block price back over the barrel price by 7 cents.
Butter finished down 2 1/4 as well with 5 loads traded to finish at a final price of $2.18 1/2. Grade A nonfat dry milk was again the anomaly, rising a penny to finish at 73 cents per pound. In spite of recent cheese price movement, whey prices held steady, now averaging 26 cents for calendar year 2018.
The weaker morning trade exhibited in the Class III market was buoyed somewhat by this split direction in block and barrel cheese. Prices moved off of their lows but still finished lower on the day for the first half of 2018. The average there now stands at $14.73, down 3 cents. Class IV saw limited volume and finished at $14.11 in its first half 2018 average.