Milk, Cheese and Butter All Make Gains
USDA released its August milk production report on Tuesday resulting in 2% year-over-year growth. July's growth in milk production was revised from 1.8% to 2% higher as 2,000 cows were added to the herd. As a result, milk cow numbers were left unchanged at 9.405 million head, 71,000 more than a year ago.
Milk per cow in August increased 24 pounds from 2016 to 2017 for an average daily production of 62 pounds per cow. In total, 18.05 billion pounds were produced in August.
CME spot dairy product and milk futures were mainly higher on Wednesday. Barrels led the strength in product as 15 loads traded and closed at $1.51 1/4, up 2 3/4 cents. Blocks increased a half cent to finish at $1.59 3/4. Butter also gained a half cent to $2.47 1/4 while grade A nonfat dry milk lost 1 1/2 cents to settle at 82 cents per pound.
Class III milk futures on Wednesday settled 6 cents higher in September at $16.33 per cwt while the 4th quarter was up 10 to 13 cents, moving the 2017 milk average up to $15.93. First half 2018 had mixed results. January increased 10 cents, February, March and June were up 1 to 6 cents and April and May each declined 6 cents per cwt. Class IV milk futures saw action in November and December. November dropped 5 cents while December was down 12 cents per cwt.