Record cheese exports in 2012

The Foreign Ag Service reports total cheese exports in 2012 were 573.3 million pounds up 16 percent from 2011 and a record volume. Exports took 5.3 percent of total U.S. cheese production last year.

Of the 200 billion pounds of milk produced in the U.S. in 2012, 122.3 billion pounds were delivered into the Federal Orders, down 3.8 percent from 2011. Utilization of that milk: 35 percent went into Class I, 14 percent was used in Class II, 39 percent was Class III and 12 percent was Class IV. The weighted average statistical uniform price for the milk was $18.05 per hundredweight, down $1.82 from 2011.

Another mixed day in the dairy markets on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday, barrels down a penny to $1.63, blocks held steady at $1.675 while butter gained a quarter-cent at $1.605

For the week, cash cheese barrels up 7 cents, blocks gained 2.5 cents, butter increased a nickel and the average Class III contract for March, April and May lost 17 cents.

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