Cash cheese and butter were higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday along with Class III futures. For the week, cash cheese barrels up 8.5 cents, blocks up 6.75 cents, cash butter down 6.75 cents, nonfat dry milk up 2.5 cents. September Class III futures increased $1.42, October gained 43 cents and November up 13 cents.
While the price of butter declined for the week, it is still trading in near-record-high territory. Spot loads are hard to come by and garnering 3.5 to 6 cents over market. More milk is going into bottling as the pipeline is being filled for back-to-school; that means more cream should be available.
Dairy Market News reports milk production across the country is trending lower but still above year-ago levels thanks to increased cow numbers. Favorable weather in the Midwest and Northeast is supporting production but heat is taking its toll in California, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest.
3.8 billion pounds of packaged fluid milk products were estimated to have been sold in the U.S. in June, down 2.2 percent from June of 2013. Conventional fluid milk sales were 2.9 percent lower while organic fluid milk sales were up 11.3 percent from a year ago.
Milk production is declining seasonally in Western Europe but still above year-ago levels. For the first six months of this year, milk production in the 28 European Union states was up 5.1 percent from the January-through-June period of 2013. Italian production was 2.8 percent higher, Germany up 3.6 percent, France increased 6.2 percent, Ireland up 7.3 percent, Belgium increased 8.1 percent and the UK was 10.7 percent higher. Only Spain and Greece were below last year. In Eastern Europe: Polish production is 7.6 percent higher, Lithuania increased 8.7 percent, Estonia up 8.9 percent and Latvia’s production is up 12.8 percent. The Czech Republic saw a 0.7 percent decline from a year ago.