Milk Prices Stabilize Just In Time For Christmas
Christmas falling midweek sets us up for a slow trade week despite information on tariffs from China being lowered on select dairy products and a cold storage report. Monday saw some decent volume in the CME spot trade. Butter gained 2 ¼ cents to $2.02 ¾ with 3 loads trading hands, Cheddar blocks had 3 offers, but didn’t attract any bids or trades to stay unchanged at $1.86. Barrels jumped 5 ¾ cents higher to $1.72 ¼ with 5 loads trading hands.
Powder markets were not as robust. Grade A nonfat dry milk moved 1 load and fell half a cent to $1.24 ½ with 6 bids and 3 offers. Dry whey moved 7 loads Monday and moved a penny lower to $0.30 ½ per lb. with 7 bids and 1 offer left.
Class III has stabilized as cheese finds support. December gained 1 to $19.37, January gained 7 to $17.43, and February was unchanged at $17.40. First half of 2020 is averaging at $17.38 per cwt.
Class IV milk saw December stay unchanged at $16.72, January gained 5 to $17.11, and February gained 6 to $17.32.
Monday afternoon we saw the USDA Cold Storage report for November. Milk continues to flow into the butter churn. Though stocks were 23% lower than October, we were 17% higher than November 2018 at 180.7 million pounds of butter.
Natural cheese fell 1% from October levels and was 2% lower than this time last year with 1.32 billion pounds of natural cheese in cold storage on November 30th. American style cheese saw a slight decline from October but was 7.4% lower than November 2018.