BUTTER HIGHLIGHTS: The CME cash butter price continued its' firm trend this week until Friday’s active trading. The market turned sharply lower on Friday with 13 sales reported and the price down $0.0925 to $1.8600. Churning schedules across the country are mixed, depending on cream availability. For the most part, churning schedules are strong as butter producers prepare for upcoming holiday butter needs. In some regions of the country, butter producers are indicating that cream supplies for their needs are tightening as some Class II operations increase production of cream based holiday type items. Butter orders are strong for both retail and food service needs. Some retail buyers are indicating that promotions are being scheduled for varying periods prior to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and are placing orders to accommodate anticipated good clearances during those times.
Food service and restaurant buyers are also placing good orders for upcoming needs. Reports indicate that restaurant traffic flow is good and will potentially get stronger as the yearend holidays near. Butter export assistance continues to be extended through the CWT program. Most recently, assistance was extended for the export of 91 MT (200,621 pounds) now through the first quarter 2013.
DRY PRODUCTS: Nonfat dry milk prices are mixed with narrowing price ranges. Nonfat sales are moving well under contracts, but spot interest has slowed. Dry buttermilk prices are also mixed with narrowing price ranges in the Central and Eastern regions. Increased volumes of cream are moving to churns in the East. Western dry buttermilk prices are steady to slightly higher. Dry whey prices moved higher in the Eastern and Western regions as the market tone remains firm on good demand and tight supplies. Central whey prices held steady with supplies seemingly more available from multiple sources. Whey protein concentrate 34% prices are unchanged to higher with a steady to firm undertone.
ORGANIC DAIRY MARKET NEWS: Organic milk half gallons have a weighted average advertised price of $3.31, 8 cents higher than two weeks ago, 16 cents lower than four weeks ago and 60 cents lower than 6 weeks ago. The national organic half gallon milk weighted average advertised price of $3.31, compared with the weighted average advertised price for non-organic half gallons, $2.27, results in an organic-conventional half-gallon milk advertised price spread of $1.04, up 22 cents from two weeks ago and even with four weeks ago. Total organic yogurt ad numbers are the second highest level of the year, higher than any of the last fourteen survey periods. The greatest percentage of organic yogurt ads are for 32 ounce organic yogurt, followed by 4-6 ounce organic yogurt. Ads for 4-6 ounce organic yogurt yielded a weighted average advertised price of 63 cents, down 19 cents, from two weeks ago.