Milk prices posted double-digit gains for September.

The Class III price recovered nearly all of the 75-cent loss it had incurred during August. In fact, it gained back 70 cents during September, which pushed the Class III price above $14 — to $14.30, according to the USDA’s announcement of class prices on Sept. 30. However, that is still 42 cents less than the September 2004 Class III price.

The Class II price and Class IV price have not lost any momentum. The Class II price advanced 40 cents — to $14.35. The Class IV price grew 31 cents — to $13.75. One year ago, the Class II and IV prices were $13.66 and $13, respectively.

Despite strong milk output — the August 23-state production topped year-earlier levels by 4.6 percent — cheese prices have held their own.

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the average block price for the week ending Sept. 23 was $1.595. The weekly average barrel price stood at $1.5105.

One week later on September 30 the weekly average block price stood unchanged at $1.595. However, the weekly average barrel price weakened to $1.456.

Although the average Class III price for 2005 is expected to be lower than last year’s average of $15.39, it will still be a higher-than-average year. The most recent milk-price forecast from the USDA pegs the Class III mid-point price at $14 for 2005.