A strong finish to a strong week in the dairy markets on Friday. Cash cheese barrels and blocks both finishing at $1.68 and August 2012 through February 2013 Class III futures are all over $18.00. For the week, cash cheese barrels up a half-cent, blocks 4-cents higher, butter up 1.75 cents and Grade A nonfat dry milk up 4.25 cents. Class III futures for August up 70 cents, September gained $1.01, October up 93 cents and the January contract up $1.15.
The increasing cheese price is slowing export interest a bit however sales are still running well ahead of last year. May exports totaled 61.6 million pounds up 43 percent compared to May of last year. January through May cumulative exports totaled 258.4 million pounds up 18 percent from the same period last year. Exports accounted for 5.7 percent of total cheese produced in the five months. Dairy Market News notes the dollar’s strength against the Euro is affecting exports as well, amplified by what brokers describe as a sense European cheese makers need to make export sales because of the economic woes and flat sales in Europe.
The national weighted average for organic milk half-gallons was $3.93 last week compared to $1.97 for a half-gallon of conventional milk, that $1.96 spread is well above the usual $1.32 we’ve seen this year.