Dairy markets: A mixed bag

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Editor’s note: This market commentary is provided by the Dairy Division at FCStone in Chicago, Ill.

While the direction for spot cheese continues to be to the downside, trading activity above the $2.20/lb. level leaves us with $23+ as a Class III equivalent. Prices settled mostly higher yesterday, with May through July 10¢-12¢ higher, while other months were mixed (-5¢ to +2¢). Weekly NDPSR block and barrel prices were significantly lower, but they didn’t fall as much as anticipated. 

Weekly NDPSR prices for NFDM came in at $2.0110/lb., a gain of 1.24¢ from the prior week and the first time we’ve seen a week-over-week increase in 6 weeks.  

Butter prices were mixed yesterday, despite what we viewed as a bearish Cold Storage Report.

The Class IV market moved higher in response to the gains in NFDM, with prices settling 12¢ to 32¢ higher from May through September. We don’t foresee product being tight enough to create a back-and-forth between Class III & IV to push prices higher in the short term, but if milk production can’t pick up in the coming weeks with warming weather, perhaps that’s what we would see.

 

April 23 spot session results:

Block cheese: $2.2100 (down 1.25¢)

Barrel cheese: $2.2175 (down 1.25¢)

Grade A NFDM: $1.8575 (unchanged)

Butter: $1.8950 (unchanged)

 

Today's expectations:

• Class III, Cheese & Dry Whey to open firm

• Class IV, Butter & NFDM to open higher

 

Grain futures

The corn market built on Tuesday’s gains and jumped back above some key moving averages, holding the upward trend and looking more bullish in the short term as well. Forecasts continue to be cold and wet through the next two weeks, but planting progress should still be significant this week. We are likely entering a very volatile spring season.

The soybean market was mixed: Old crop continues to lose ground amid increased talk of soybeans and soymeal being imported; new crop values moved higher, likely in an effort to maintain acreage. Export sales being released later this morning will be very closely watched.

 

Today’s expectation:

• Corn to open higher

• Soybeans to open lower

 

FC Stone's annual Dairy Outlook Conference will be held June 18-19, in Chicago. Visit www.intlfcstone.com/events for information.

 

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