The Class III price soared to its highest level yet — $19.66 — following the USDA’s announcement of April class prices on Apr. 30.

The new record high Class III price tops the previous record of $17.34 set in December 1998. It also is an outstanding $5.17 gain from March and a staggering $10.25 higher than a year ago.

In comparison, the USDA’s announcement of Class IV and II prices was not nearly as impressive as the Class III price hike.

The Class IV price gained just 47 cents during April — putting it at $14.57. The Class II price gained a modest 42 cents — pushing it to $15.21 for April.

Strong cheese prices — the driver behind the record-breaking activity in the Class III price — continued to prevail throughout April. At the end of April, both block and barrel cheese prices continued to top $2 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. At the close of trading on Apr. 30, block and barrel cheese prices settled at $2.1675 and $2.145, respectively. Those prices are about $1.04 higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the butter price stood at $2.1325 on Apr. 30. One year ago, it was just $1.09 per pound.

USDA