Class III Futures Rise on Unchanged Product Markets
CME spot product markets turned in a rare day of all products settling unchanged. Butter closed at $2.14 1/4 while blocks stayed at $1.46 1/4. Neither butter or blocks traded. Barrels traded nine times and grade A nonfat dry milk moved four loads. Barrels finished at $1.32 and dry milk was at 70 1/2 cents per pound. Dry whey futures were mainly down a half cent throughout 2018.
Despite no change in product prices, Class III milk took today's action as a win and traded higher. February through June milk futures traded 5 to 15 cents higher and the second half of the year ranged from 3 cents lower to 4 cents higher. The February through December full year average is currently offered at $14.78 per cwt. Class IV markets watched February gain 5 cents while March added 2 cents.
USDA released their December Cattle on Feed report last Friday. On-feed numbers were bearish as 8% more were reported, year over year. At present, 11.5 million head were reported on feedlots with 1,000 or more head. Steers and calves accounted for 64% of the total at 7.34 million, up 4% while heifers and heifer calves accounted for 36% of inventory at 4.15 million head, up 16% from 2016. Placements totaled 1.8 million head, up 1% on December 2016 while marketings fell a percent and came in at 1.75 million head. Futures markets have dropped $2 to $3 since Friday's report although trade has become increasingly volatile.