Spot market putting in some new lows this week as the sell pressure stays strong with 50 barrels and 10 blocks traded. This led to a 29.5 cent drop on barrels and a 7 cent drop on blocks. Dry whey also had a big week with 47 loads traded on a drop of 8.5 cents. A dairy farm fire made national news this week as a large dairy in Texas caught fire and killed 18,000 cows. There is still an investigation into the exact cause and why it did so much damage.
Weekly Spot Prices
Weekly Future Prices
Cheese: Milk is available for cheesemaking in the Midwest, and contacts relay volumes of milk continue to trade for as little as $11 under Class III. In the West, cheesemakers are operating strong production schedules as they work through ample supplies of milk. Milk volumes are trending higher in the Northeast, and cheesemakers are operating stronger production schedules. Some plant managers in the region report having to operate below capacity due to labor shortages. Retail demand has softened a bit in the Northeast, while food service demand is strengthening. Stakeholders in the Midwest relay health demand, and some say orders are outpacing production. In the West, demand for cheese is strong from retail and food service customers, though export sales are, reportedly, mixed. Loads of cheese are available for spot purchasing in the West, though some cheesemakers say inventories are sold out through April. (USDA Cheese Highlights)
Butter: Cream volumes are available throughout all regions, and contacts in the West say supplies are outpacing butter production needs. Some butter makers in the East are churning seven days a week, and others in the Central region report operating throughout the recent holiday weekend. In the West, some butter makers are running at capacity, though others say they are operating reduced schedules due to the rebuilding or maintenance of churns. Demand for butter is steady from retail and food service customers. In the East, stakeholders say retail demand has slowed following the spring holidays, while food service sales are steady to stronger. Contacts in the central region say both retail and food service sales of butter have been somewhat quiet in April. Bulk butter inventories are available in the Central region. Butter inventories vary by manufacturer in the East, as some are looking to rebuild depleted stocks. In the West, some stakeholders say salted butter inventories are heavier than unsalted inventories. Across all regions, bulk butter overages range from 0 to 10.75 cents over market value. (USDA Butter Highlights)
Dry whey: Prices have moved down for the bottom end and top end of the range. Higher inventories compared to current demand are reported by stakeholders. Spot market purchasers showed moderate activity this week. Contract sales are steady to light and additional loads are available. Slower paces for Q2 bookings remain noted by industry sources. Market tones are on the slightly bearish side. The latest market price for dry whey on the CME is $0.3750, which represents a decrease of 3.5 cents since last Wednesday. Contacts note demand is behind available inventory levels. Current prices for high protein whey concentrates and amounts available keep some producers shifting production schedules into dry whey. Plenty of liquid whey is available for drying as cheese producers run strong to steady production schedules. Dry whey production is steady. (USDA Dry Whey updates)
Cheap milk continues to flow into manufacturing, and that cheese is being dumped on the spot market creating a high volume and at low price. With ample milk supply for manufacturing demand is not keeping up and some of the lowest price we have seen this year are starting to get calculated in. This has spurred on the cull rate as producers are looking at ways to cut costs and drum up income. This may fix the excess milk problem eventually but recommendation this week is to buy some puts in the up front months to stop the bleeding. There will be no report next week as I will be traveling.