Demand for Labor Day retail specials and filling the pipeline for school openings have added to immediate interest. In fluid milk, the USDA's Dairy Market News reports that cream markets are firming. Following are highlights from Dairy Market News for the week of Aug. 13 to 17.
FLUID MILK. Cream markets are firming and supplies are tighter in the Southwest. Eastern cream is tight in many areas but in the Central region, cream supplies increased in some areas and multiples moderated as Class II demand stepped seasonally lower and cream generated from Class I orders increased. Various Central milk handlers indicate that milk supplies and demand are in balance. California milk output is severely impacted by hot and humid weather, lowering milk intakes and solids levels.
There are processors who would like to have more milk in the short term. Arizona milk production is steady to lower at seasonal low levels. Milk supplies in the Pacific Northwest are being affected by another session of high temperatures. Utah and Idaho milk production is also suffering from hot temperatures, resulting in lower volumes and less solids. Milk imports began for the year in Florida, where increasing school related demand has outpaced production, due to weather where cow comfort is “terrible”. Milk supplies are tight in the Mid-Atlantic region, but balanced in the Southeast.
CHEESE HIGHLIGHTS. Cheese prices across the U.S. were higher this week. Last week’s price increases at the CME Group were reflected in higher spot prices this week. Prices at the exchange were the highest since mid-November of 2011. The recent increase has fueled interest in securing inventory before anticipated further price increases.
Demand for Labor Day retail specials and filling the pipeline for school openings have added to immediate interest. Hot weather across much of the U.S. has impacted milk volumes available for processing and cheese plants are paying premiums in some cases to secure additional milk for cheese making. Spot prices at the CME Group this week closed with barrels at $1.8350 and blocks at $1.8700 on Friday.