Markets See a Little Relief
The general bid for product brought a sigh of relief to those who's hopes have hinged on milk futures prices in recent days.
Block cheese rose 4 1/4 cents after six loads traded hands to move back to $1.71 1/4. Barrels followed along moving to $1.66, two cents higher. Grade A nonfat dry milk rose 1 1/2 cents after four loads traded to finish at 75 1/2 cents. The lone dissenter was butter, it dropped 3 cents to $2.32, the exact settlement price seen on October 9 before the market found support that carried it 8 cents higher.
All of the action in product left Class III markets nearly a quarter higher in the last two months of the year. January followed along finishing 21 cents higher and the balance of the first half of the year was up single digits. In the end the average Class III price for the first half of 2018 finished at $15.38, 9 cents over Friday's finish.
Class IV markets were softer on the heels of the butter trade. Prices dropped a nickel in nearby contracts with the average for the first half of next year remaining at $14.81, unchanged from last week.