Editor’s note: This market commentary is provided by the Dairy Division at FCStone/Downes-O'Neill in Chicago, Ill.

Class III futures opened the week very quietly with mixed prices early, and they held throughout the day into settlement. The spot market was opened and closed with no activity to speak of and that left the market very quiet on the day with just 652 trades taking place.

April ended the day 12 higher, while other months were +2 to -10 cents. Technically, the market remains on a sell signal and fundamentally that seems like the most likely direction for the next price movement. Despite the strong milk production, however, the market wants verification that product will make its way to the market before falling too much further to the downside. That little nugget is on our minds this morning as we have learned many times over to concern yourself with a market that’s not doing what you think it ought to be doing.

With outside markets getting hit hard throughout the early morning hours, grains got the day started with weakness and were never able to recover as profit-taking took center stage. 

It is worth talking about the USDA’s Weekly Crop Progress Report. We’re planting corn and how. According to the USDA ― and just about anyone you talk to ― planting is off to a remarkable start. The USDA says 7 percent of the corn is in the ground as of Easter Sunday. The five year average is 2 percent. This is the fastest rate of planting since the USDA began issuing weekly Crop Progress Reports back in 1985.

Daily CME spot market prices:

Block cheese: $1.4875 (unchanged)

Barrel cheese $1.46 (unchanged)

Butter: $1.43 (unchanged)  

Grade A NFDM: $1.2675 (unchanged)

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