After declining the last two days of 2013, dairy markets turned-around to start 2014. Cash cheese barrels gained 7 cents on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday, blocks increased 2.75 cents and butter increased 3 cents. The January Class III contract increased 40 cents going over the $20 mark while February added 56 cents and March increased 53 cents on the day.
For the week, cash cheese barrels down a nickel, blocks up 4.25 cents, butter gained 2 cents, Grade A nonfat dry milk lost 4.25 cents and Extra Grade held steady. Class III futures for January increased 46 cents, February added 71 cents, March increased 34 cents.
Milk production is steady from the Pacific Northwest through the Midwest and into the Northeast while the Southern states are seeing a little increase thanks to the milder weather. Manufacturing plants took advantage of the additional milk available over the holidays, Dairy Market News says some discounts were offered by transportation costs and truck availability limited buying. By midweek things were back to normal as bottling plants went back to work.
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