Cash cheese, butter and Class III futures prices all higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Thursday. Milk handlers in the Midwest tell USDA Ag Market News milk production has flattened-out and intakes are reduced slightly. Butterfat levels are also slipping as temperatures heat up. Spot loads of milk are being offered at Class price to $2 below class. Class II demand remains strong with multiples on cream ranging 1.26 to 1.45. That has prompted butter makers to sell cream rather than run it through the churns. That is what is pushing the cash butter market higher this week.
A late flush is being reported in the Northeast where cooler temperatures have cows producing a little more. Manufacturing milk supplies are plentiful.
Substantial decreases in milk production in the South this week as the heat sets-in. Some surplus milk from the Midwest has found its way to Southern plants. Florida did ship 105 loads out of the state this week, the same as a week ago.
Out west, despite the drought, California milk production is mostly steady. Intakes are lower in New Mexico but Arizona is well-above year-ago production levels.
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