Product Markets Drop and So Do Inventories
The dairy markets concluded their week of trade on Wednesday. During the shortened week, Cheddar blocks traded eight times at an average price of $1.60 1/2, down 8 1/4 cents from the prior week's average. Barrels moved five loads and finished with an average of $1.66 1/3, a penny and a half below the previous week. Butter led the weekly volume in product markets as 22 transactions took place. Butter declined 3 1/2 cents for the week to close at $2.21 1/2. Grade A nonfat dry milk also dropped, with two trades taking place at an average price of 71 cents, down 2 3/4 cents from last week.
The USDA released the monthly cold storage report on Wednesday. The October 2018 report showed us that total natural cheese stocks in all warehouses on October 31st totaled 1.267 billion pounds. That figure is 4% above year ago levels but 3% below the September 2017 number. Butter stocks dropped 4% from a year ago and 14% from last month. Butter stocks in warehouses at the end of October were reported at 220 million pounds. Red meat supplies in freezers on October 31 amounted to 500 million pounds, down 5% from a year ago but 2% above last month's levels.