Cash cheese, butter and nonfat dry milk prices nudged a little higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Thursday but Class III futures slipped a little. The Class III contracts seem to be backing off a little ahead of the three-day Memorial Day weekend and schools closing down for the summer. That means more milk going into cheese plants.
Dairy Market News says various marketing representatives and dairy co-op managers report the competition for farm milk is increasing steadily in the Central U.S. as production and components decline. Premiums of 50 cents to $1.50 are being reported for spot loads and some say they are bringing in fewer loads because of the higher prices. Cream multiples are also increasing.
Milk production has been declining in the Southeast where plants are now reportedly running at 60 to 70 percent of capacity. They do expect that to pick up a bit next week as schools start closing down for the summer but the heat is intensifying in the region. Florida has had a steady dose of 90-degree days and 70-degree nights.
In the west, California milk production is holding steady at or near seasonal peak, so far weather has not been a factor in the Golden State. Heat is becoming a problem in Arizona where milk production is trending lower. After months of heavy production the Pacific Northwest is finally slowing down although here again, cheese plants expect a rebound in intakes as Class I and II plants close for the long holiday weekend.