Dairy markets: Class III choppiness continues

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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

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