Lee Mielke: Looking for direction


Columnist Lee Mielke wraps up the week’s dairy industry news.

Cash dairy prices started November looking for direction. The Cheddar blocks fell to $1.4550 per pound last Thursday, lowest level since June 25, 2018, but closed Friday at $1.4575, down 5 3/4-cents on the week, a hefty 25 3/4-cents below a year ago, and 29 cents lower than they were October 1.

The barrels jumped 8 1/4-cents Wednesday, climbed to $1.3750 Thursday, but closed Friday at $1.34, 9 cents higher on the week, 37 1/2-cents below a year ago, 8 cents lower on the month, and 11 3/4-cents below the blocks.

The spread was closer to the normal 3 to 5 cents but still too high. Lots of cheese came to Chicago with 14 cars of block trading on the week, 82 on the month, plus 23 cars of barrel, with 183 on the month.
Cheese was unchanged Monday, as traders anticipated Tuesday morning’s Global Dairy Trade. The blocks were steady again on Tuesday but the barrels rolled a half-cent lower, to $1.3350.

Dairy Market News says “Choppy cheese markets continue to permeate the narrative in the Midwest.” Western cheese output is “within the norm of what the industry anticipated, with ample milk available.” Export sales to the Middle East are up.

Cash butter closed Friday at $2.30 per pound, up 6 3/4-cents on the week, 6 3/4-cents above a year ago, and a quarter-cent higher than Oct. 1. There were 28 sales reported last week and 173 on the month.
Monday’s butter lost 1 1/4-cents and dropped 4 3/4-cents Tuesday, to $2.24.

Cream supplies have diminished, says DMN. Bulk butter remains available but some contacts suggest supplies may be tight by the end of the year.

Western butter markets are steady ahead of the holiday baking season and cream is in adequate supply.

Read the rest of Lee Mielke’s report herehttp://www.capitalpress.com/Dairy/20181107/lee-mielke-looking-for-direction

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