Powder Takes Stage
CME spot product markets on Wednesday saw the majority of trading activity take place in nonfat dry milk. That market traded 9 loads and gained a quarter cent to close at 74 1/2 cents per pound. Butter dropped 2 1/4 cents and ended Wednesday at $2.25 3/4. Cheddar barrels were unchanged, settling at $1.70 per pound while blocks added a half cent to close at $1.71 1/2.
CME Class III milk markets contained limited volume on Wednesday. November climbed 3 cents to $16.85 per cwt and December dropped 6 cents to $15.70. First half 2018 softened 5 to 10 cents to an average price of $15.00 per cwt. November and December were the only second half 2018 months to trade. November finished a penny higher at $15.88 per cwt while December was unchanged at $15.82. All Class IV months were unchanged.
Cattle markets finally found some footing this week. After running nearly $13 per cwt higher, beginning on October 23rd and peaking November 2nd, cattle have since retreated $8 per cwt. While prices have softened, cattle prices seem to have found some buying again. Looking big picture, prices are still $5 per cwt higher than where this whole move began on October 23rd. These prices provide opportunities to protect cull cow values out through April.