Cash dairy markets held steady to close out the week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday. Barrels closed at $1.5725, blocks at $1.645 and butter at $1.505 per pound. For the week, cash cheese barrels down 6.5 cents, blocks down 3.75 cents, butter held steady and January through April Class III contracts lost an average 18 cents. Cash cheese prices declining for the third week in a row as milk intakes continue to climb in the Midwest and East. Cheese in cold storage increased 5 percent last month and buyers are using that extra inventory to justify lower bids. The extra cheese and lower prices have spurred some export business, CWT assisted in selling 3.8 million pounds of cheese this past week.
The combination of increased Class I demand and milk production below a year ago prompted Florida to import 84 spot loads of milk this week. This is the earliest the Sunshine State has imported milk since 2006. Milk production has suffered due to limited feed and forage availability and hot weather affecting cow comfort.
Ag Market News reports total organic milk product sales in November totaled 191 million pounds up 9 percent compared to November of 2011. Organic whole milk sales increased 16 percent to 49 million pounds, organic fat-reduced up 6.8 percent at 142 million pounds.