Record cheese and Class III futures prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Monday. Cash cheese barrels closed at $2.305 per pound and blocks closed at $2.40. The April, May and June Class III futures contracts were each up the 75-cent daily limit. April closed at $23.12, May at $21.51 and June at $20.97 per hundredweight.
The latest numbers from the U.S. Dairy Export Council driving the markets up: USDEC reports total U.S. dairy exports hit 162,999 tons in January up 19 percent from a year ago. Total value of those exports was up 35 percent to $583.7 million. Cheese exports topped 32,000 tons for the first time…the third consecutive record month. 14.5 percent of total U.S. dairy production in January was exported.
Growing global demand is the driving force with everyone working to meet the demand. Milk production in Europe is above year-ago levels but the higher EURO is putting them at a bit of a price disadvantage.
Australian milk production in January was 3.1 percent above year-ago levels but year-to-date is 2.2 percent below last season. Dairy Australia says July-through-January dairy exports were down 9.6 percent by volume although total value was up 19.6 percent.
New Zealand milk production year-to-date is running 5 percent higher than a year ago and the forecasted milk price for the current season is now at a record-high NZ$8.65 per kilogram of milk solids. New Zealand’s farm milk price is based upon the export market.
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