Another mixed week in dairy markets
For the week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cash cheese barrels declined 12.5 cents, blocks lost 14 cents, butter increased 16.5 cents and nonfat dry milk is 3.25 cents higher. Class III futures for May increased a nickel, June up 72 cents and July added 42 cents per hundredweight.
Dairy Market News says that increase in butter reflects a bullish market, given current conditions, butter makers have not built inventory so stocks are light. Bulk butter prices are running 5 to 8 cents over market in the Northeast, 6 cents over market in the Central U.S. National Dairy Retail Report shows the national weighted average price for a 1-pound package of butter is $2.075, up 6 cents from two weeks ago but 13 cents below a year ago.
The cold, wet spring is still causing problems for organic diary producers in the Upper Midwest, there is just not enough grass to pasture cows yet and even if there was grass, it is too wet to let the cows into the pastures. The national weighted average for a half-gallon of organic milk is $3.32 up 7 cents from two weeks ago. A half-gallon of conventional milk is $1.83 putting the organic-to-conventional spread at $1.49, the third lowest of the year.
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