Lee Mielke: Monthly Dairy Prices 11-5-12
November 12, 2012
Hurricane Sandy dominated the news this week as it wreaked havoc on the Eastern Seaboard. New York and the New York stock exchange were shut down for the first time since 1888 due to weather, according to FC Stone's October 30 eDairy Insider Opening Bell. Market analyst Ryan Cox warned that "Dairy will be affected by the storm. The upstate New York dairy shed is an issue but we don't know how badly it will be affected yet."
Meanwhile; the Agriculture Department announced the October Federal order benchmark Class III milk price this week at $21.02 per hundredweight (cwt.), up $2.02 from September and $2.99 above October 2011. That is the highest it has been since August 2011 and equates to about $1.81 per gallon. The 2012 Class III average now stands at $16.98, down $1.27 from this time a year ago but $2.62 above 2010 and $6.26 above the disastrous 2009 average.
The November Class III futures contract settled Friday at $21.20 and December at $20.40.
The October Class IV price is $18.54, up $1.13 from September and 13 cents above a year ago.
The AMS-surveyed cheese price averaged $2.0479 per pound, up 18.3 cents from September. Butter averaged $1.9168, up 9 cents. Nonfat dry milk averaged $1.4636, up 8.7 cents, and dry whey averaged 62.05 cents, up 3.6 cents.
California's comparable 4b cheese milk price is $19.43, up $1.93 from September, $3.65 above a year ago, the highest since November 2007, but $1.59 below the FO Class III price. Its 2012 average now stands at $15.16, down from $16.41 at this time a year ago and compares to $13.26 in 2010.
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The 4a butter-powder price is $17.96, up $1.34 from September but 33 cents below a year ago. Its 2012 average is $15.18, down from $19.15 a year ago and $14.67 in 2010.
Cash block cheese closed the first Friday of November at $2.11 per pound, down a penny on the week but 23 cents above that week a year ago. Barrel fell to $2 but rallied 8 cents on an unfilled bid Friday to close at $2.08, unchanged on the week but 16 cents above a year ago. Only two cars of block traded hands on the week and four of barrel. The AMS-surveyed U.S. average block price fell 1.7 cents, to $2.0715, while the barrels rolled 3.7 cents lower, to $2.0274.
Cheese plants would like to increase production, but are wary of paying premiums for additional milk, according to USDA's Dairy Market News (DMN).
Butter closed at $1.8875, down a quarter-cent on the week but 55-cents above a year ago. Fourteen cars found new homes on the week. AMS butter averaged $1.8948, down 3.6 cents.
Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk inched a penny higher to $1.57. Extra Grade held at $1.56. AMS powder averaged $1.4861, up 1.4 cents. Dry whey averaged 62.98 cents, up a half-cent.
Churning schedules across the country remain generally active and dependent on cream availability and price, according to DMN. Producers and handlers report good butter orders have been placed and continue to be placed. ❖