Another relatively quiet day in the cash cheese markets on Thursday with only one uncovered offer. That offer did knock another quarter-cent off the block price finishing the session at $1.7575. Barrels held steady at $1.73. Cash butter slipped another 1.5 cents to $1.55 on 5 sales, 4 unfilled bids and 1 uncovered offer. After declining for a few days, Class III futures rebounded with June up 24 cents, July and August each gained 21 cents per hundredweight.
Dairy Market News notes that usually there are plenty of loads of milk being offered at a discount in the week leading up to Memorial Day but that is not the case this year. Relatively few are being offered and at or slightly below Class price. The biggest reason given for the difference is there was no real spring flush in milk production this year, total U.S. milk production was up only 0.2 percent compared to April 2012. Most cheese plants report they are running at or near capacity with more milk coming in as Class I demand slows-down as schools let out for the summer. Some of that cheese is going into storage as the Cold Storage report this week reflected increased stocks compared to a month ago and a year ago. Some of that cheese is going to export, just this week CWT accepted 9 requests for assistance in exporting more than 3 million pounds of cheese.
The monthly Livestock Slaughter Report from USDA shows 268,000 dairy cows went to slaughter in April, 6,000 less than in March but 28,000 more than in April of last year. Total dairy cow slaughter for January through April was 1,099,000 head compared to 1,043,000 in the same period a year ago.