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

The Class III market continued its choppy price action. March futures firmed to erode some of the discount after a quiet spot market left blocks and barrels unchanged, but the balance of the contract months chopped sideways. Have we found an equilibrium price for the spot cheese market, or was yesterday a reprieve from additional price weakness? We expect the latter, as we continue to hear of fresh cheese available in the country. Dry whey continues to be more perplexing.

Class IV futures saw a jump in trading volume on slightly higher prices, largely supported by NFDM futures.

Feb. 13 spot session results:

Block cheese: $2.1050 (unchanged)

Barrel cheese: $2.0625 (unchanged)

Grade A NFDM:  $2.02 (down 3.5¢)

Butter: $1.77 (up 2.0¢)

Today's expectations:

• Class III & Cheese to open mostly higher

• Dry whey to open mixed

• Class IV, Butter & NFDM to open steady to slightly higher

Grain futures

Corn traded largely mixed for most of Thursday’s session, wiyh a lack of fresh bullish news mixed with farm selling. The trade continues to watch strong exports and will focus attention in what the USDA has to say when it releases its ideas about the 2014/15 marketing year at the annual Ag Outlook Conference on Feb. 20-21. Soybeans, on the other hand, have broken out of their recent range to the upside and are now targeting highs not seen since late August. We’re still early in the South American harvest and demand remains robust for U.S. soybeans.

Today’s expectation:

• Grain futures to open higher

The trading of derivatives such as futures, options, and swaps may not be suitable for all investors. Derivatives trading involves substantial risk of loss, and you should fully understand those risks prior to trading. Any reference to past performance is not indicative of future results. All references to futures/options trading are made solely on behalf of FCStone, LLC. All references to swap execution and bi-lateral swaps are made solely on behalf of INTL Hanley, LLC. FCStone, LLC will clear swaps when applicable. Swaps are only available to eligible counterparties. All observations of economic, political and/or market conditions are not intended to refer to any particular trading strategy, promotional element or quality of service provided by INTL FCStone Inc. and its subsidiaries and should be construed as market commentary. All recommendations to buy or sell a specific derivative or forecasting statements regarding market activity and the pricing thereof should be construed as a solicitation in any jurisdiction in where such an offer or solicitation would be legal. Proper context and guidance including but not limited to the particular trading objectives, financial situations and the needs of the intended audience were taken into consideration when this recommendation was prepared. Contact your account representative for specific advice to meet your specific trading preferences or goals. These materials represent the opinions and viewpoints of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and trading strategies employed by INTL FCStone Inc. and its subsidiaries. Sources of information believed to reliable were used in preparing such observations, and no guarantee or representation regarding the accuracy of those sources has been made. INTL FCStone Inc. and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any redistribution of this material by third parties, or any trading decisions taken by persons not intended to view this material.