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Milk futures, cash dairy mixed

Class III milk futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were mixed on spread trade and general consolidation activity coming back from the long holiday weekend. April was up $.01 at $15.24, May was down $.06 at $15.14, June lost $.09 to $15.29, and July was $.06 lower at $15.80.

Cash cheese blocks were unchanged at $1.475. Barrels were steady at $1.4275. Five loads were sold, all at $1.4275. The last uncovered offer was for two loads at $1.4275.

Butter was $.0125 lower at $2.075. Three loads were sold, including one at $2.075. The last unfilled bid was on one load at $2.07. The last uncovered offer was for one load at $2.075.

Nonfat dry milk was $.005 higher at $.85. One load was sold at $.85. The last unfilled bid was on two loads at $.84.

The USDA says fluid milk production last week was steady to higher, along seasonal lines, and the high production levels have U.S. milk intakes “more than adequate for most processing needs,” while noting the impact of new Canadian import rules on U.S. producers. Cream supplies are readily available and mostly headed to butter churning. Butter production varies across the country, active in the East, but expected to slow down in the Central region with a few manufacturers reducing production levels. Inventories are stable and demand ranges quiet to solid, depending on the region. Cheese production is strong enough the USDA says several Midwestern cheesemakers have cancelled previous scheduled downtime. Midwestern cheese sales are steady to strong, slower in the Northeast and West, and there are a lot of uncertainties that demand can meet the supply. At the retail level, conventional dairy ads were up 48%, while organic ads were down 24%. The price spread between organic and conventional half gallons of milk is $1.39, in favor of organic.

The USDA and HighGround dairy say Cyclone Debbie negatively impacted the tail end of the milk season in Australia and New Zealand.

Cooperatives Working Together announced the acceptance of 15 requests of export assistance from member coops, covering 2.335 million pounds of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. The products are headed to Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania from April through July.

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