Editor’s note: This market commentary is provided by the Dairy Division at FCStone in Chicago, Ill.

The Class III futures finished the week heading into the Labor Day holiday posting 1,600 trades as the contracts settled between 1 penny lower and 48 higher. The August contract shed a penny, while the September through December contracts gained between 18 to 48 cents. The January through June contracts of 2014 finished the day between 1 and 15 cents higher. The fourth-quarter futures pack average gained 29 cents for the day to finish at $17.34, while adding a total of 15 cents week over week.

For the week ending Aug. 17, the dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection increased b700 head (1.2 percent) week over week to 59,500 head. The year-to-date slaughter now totals 1,971,400 head, 2.7 percent higher than during the same period last year. 

Spot session results:

Block cheese: $1.7825 (up 5.5 cents)

Barrel cheese: $1.77 (up 1.25 cent)

Grade A NFDM:  $1.80 (unchanged)

Butter: $1.4375 (up 0.25 cent)

The grain markets finished out the week with subdued volatility ahead of the holiday weekend after posting big moves earlier in the week spurred on in part by shifts in weather forecast models away from high temperatures with no rain, to those more conducive to crop development. The September corn contract dropped 2.25 cents to settle at 495.00, while the December corn contract posted a gain of 0.50 cents to settle at 482.00. The September soybeans fell 6.00 cents lower to settle at 1424.00, as the November soybean contract shed 11.00 cents to finish at 1357.50.

The soybean crop is in greater need of beneficial rains that the corn or wheat at this point, and just how extensive the rains over the past three days have been across the Corn Belt should dictate price action. 

This morning, we look for corn to open 6 to 9 cents higher and beans to open 35 to 50 higher.

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