The Class III price pulled ahead of the Class IV price today following the USDA’s announcement of July class prices. The July Class III price crossed the finish line at $15.46 per hundredweight, an increase of 44 cents since June. The Class IV price, however, lagged behind at $14.81, a 52-cent decline since June. This is the first time that the Class III price has exceeded the Class IV price since Federal Order reform began in January 2000.

USDA analysts forecast the prices of Class III milk to range between $15 and $15.40 for the remainder of the third quarter, while Class IV prices are forecast to range between $14.60 and $15.10.

The USDA expects both Class III and Class IV prices to hang back during the last three months of 2001. Class III prices are forecast between $13.85 and $14.55, and Class IV between $13.90 and $14.70.