This morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued another downward revision in its estimated milk prices for 2012.

The agency now predicts that the Class III milk price will average $15.75 to $16.15 per hundredweight this year, compared to last month’s forecast of $15.80 to $16.30. The all-milk price is now predicted at $16.85 to $17.25 for the year, a slight downward adjustment from $16.90 to $17.40 predicted in May.

The predictions came in this morning’s “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report.

As recently as the January report, USDA was predicting the all-milk price would average between $18.30 and $19.10 for the year. The predictions have been revised downward every month since then.  

This time, the downward revision is less severe and may be a sign that prices are stabilizing.

The USDA cited a weaker whey price as a reason why it lowered its Class III price projection from last month's forecast. 

Higher spot cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are a bright spot, however. Since May 15, the block cheese price has gone up 11.5 cents a pound, which will eventually have a positive effect on Class III prices.