Cheese price spread hits zero Friday

The cash dairy markets had something unusual happen at the end of the week.  Cheese blocks and barrels were selling for the same price.

Katie Burgess with tells Brownfield there’s a reason blocks came down, eliminating the spread between the prices. “We talked about it, and it seems like there’s a lot of block cheese out there, which is weighing on the market, and then on the flip side this week, the barrel market was down at $1.42 at one point, but we rallied a dime to get back to $1.52 at the week end.”

And as for why barrels rallied back to close the week, Burgess says it usually has a lot to do with export sales. “Cheese manufacturers, what they think about is ‘Can I get an export sale, or if I can’t, I guess I’ll make some barrel cheese.’ It all happened a little too fast this week. I don’t think someone got an export sale on Wednesday and bid the market up by the end of the week, but that’s the reason we watch that barrel market really closely.”

At one point last week, U.S. barrels were the cheapest in the world, so she’s hopeful that will spur some export sales, and perhaps bring the barrel prices up more.

Ultimately, blocks dropped seven cents and barrels jumped eight cents last week to close at $1.5200 per pound Friday.

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