Flurry of Market Activity This Week
USDA released its monthly milk production report on Friday with results of 1.3% year over year growth in production. 9,406,000 cows were estimated to be milking in the U.S. herd during the month of March, 23,000 more than a year ago. Production per cow grew 22 pounds for March 2018 compared to March of 2017 until the production was released just shy of 19 billion pounds.
CME spot product markets were quite active to wrap up the week on Friday. Barrels traded 15 loads and 1 1/2 cents higher to $1.50 per pound. Barrels moved 55 loads in total this week. Blocks traded four times and fell 3 3/4 cents to $1.60 1/4. Butter added 3/4 cents on 14 transactions Friday and 39 over the course of the week. Grade A nonfat dry milk was the most active product this week. 57 loads moved with the current weekly average 4 cents higher than last. Nonfat dry milk settled Friday at 80 1/2 cents per pound and is now up 11 1/2 cents since the month of April began. Dried whey closed 3/4 cents stronger after one trade and finished at 31 1/2 cents per pound.
Class III milk futures found sellers on Friday. May through December 2018 prices dropped four to 11 cents while the first half of 2019 dropped five to eight. Class IV milk traded 21 and 25 cents higher July through October.