Product Markets Face Sell Off
$1.75 cheese continues to be a tough nut to crack in the CME spot product market. After trading to an average of $1.75 in blocks and barrels on Wednesday, Thursday's trade sold off. Blocks dropped 2 cents and ended at $1.74. Barrels finished the day at $1.71 1/2 per pound, down 2 1/2 cents. Looking back in 2017, only a couple of trading days since February had we traded above a $1.75 average.
Butter continued its slide again on Thursday as 1 3/4 cents left the market, settling at $2.22 1/2 per pound. Since August 1st, butter has declined 46 cents per pound. Grade A nonfat dry milk was the lone winner in the product market as it gained a quarter cent to close at 72 1/2 cents per pound.
Class III milk futures couldn't hold on to early gains and declined 8 cents in November and 16 cents in December. First quarter 2018 was down 9 to 15 cents while 2nd quarter prices softened 3 to 5 cents. At the close, first half 2018 was averaging $15.35 per cwt, 6 cents off the lows made on October 20th and 24th. August and November traded a penny higher in 2018 but were the only months to trade in the second half. Class IV markets continued to move lower. December 2017 dropped 5 cents to $13.83. First quarter 2018 weakened 11 to 24 cents/cwt.