Lower cheese prices knocked the Class III price below $14 for August.

According to the USDA’s announcement of class prices on Sept. 2, the Class III price fell to $13.60 — a 75-cent loss versus July and 44 cents less than the August 2004 Class III price of $14.04.

Despite a downturn in the Class III price, the Class II price and Class IV price tacked on gains during August. The Class II price advanced 16 cents — to $13.95. The Class IV price was announced at $13.44 — up 27 cents versus July. One year ago, the Class II and IV prices were $13.13 and $12.46, respectively.

The lower cheese prices that brought the August Class III price below $14 began to stabilize as the end of August approached. However, price inversion kept the barrel price at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange above the block price for several trading sessions in late August. In fact, the average barrel price for the week ending August 26 was $1.48. The weekly average block price stood lower at $1.4625.

At the close of trading on Sept. 2, blocks settled at $1.50. Barrels stood at $1.49. Those prices are about 10 cents higher than a month ago.