Cheese, Powder Markets Struggle
The CME spot cheese trade in the past 9 months can be defined as big runs and volatility.
Since June, block and barrel markets rallied 45₵ -50₵ into the third week of August, fell 35₵ from August to October, and rallied another 40₵ from October into the first week of November. That represented the second half of 2016.
More recently, we have seen the steady decline in the block and barrel markets since February began. February opened the month trading at $1.75 per pound in the blocks, and $1.5125 per pound in the barrels. Much of the rhetoric pertains to the spread between the two. Since then, cheese markets have bottomed at $1.36 per pound and $1.3475 per pound in the blocks and barrels respectively, and have tried to mark a rally since that March 16 low.
Grade A nonfat dry milk powder has sung a similar tune to cheese. On January 6, the CME spot powder price peaked at $1.0525 per pound before watching prices steadily decline into March and find some support near 80₵ per pound. Since February 24, powder prices have been limited to a range of 79.25₵ to 84.5₵.
Meanwhile, Class IV have been hanging around an average $15 per CWT from April through December.