Midwest Cheese Market

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MD_DA830                                                         
DA                                                               
MD DA830 Cheese - Midwest                                        

MADISON, WI.  February 27, 2013 (REPORT 9)                       

MIDWEST CHEESE:                                                  
                                                                 
Last week's mixture of price bullishness and bearishness, generally related 
to whether the source was focused on domestic or international factors, has 
turned more bearish this week.  Comments this week are more often focused on 
retail sales sluggishness, increasing cheese inventories, and expectations 
of more milk in the short term.  Managers at a number of Central region 
cheese plants commented about slowing retail orders.  Comments were such as 
"there's very little life in [domestic] retail cheese demand."  This has 
resulted in some plants pushing back milk intakes, or reducing production, 
as inventories grow.  These market factors seem reflected in cheese price 
weakness.  CME block prices closed down each day for seven consecutive days 
through Tuesday, reaching the low for 2013, $1.6025, before moving up $.0025 
Wednesday.  Barrels reached the year's low on January 30, $1.5300, 5 cents 
below Wednesday's close, and have not moved up since February 14th.  Cold 
Storage data for January 31 this year, released last Friday, shows total 
natural cheese stocks nationally up 1% from December and up 1% from January 
31, 2012.  North Central Region American cheese stocks were even with 
December 31, 2012 and 99% of January 31, 2012 stocks.  Regional Other cheese 
stocks were 101% of December 31, 2012 and 99% of January 31, 2012 stocks.  
Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 12 requests for export 
assistance to sell 1.122 million pounds (509 metric tons) of Cheddar and 
Gouda cheese.  The product will be delivered February through July 2013.  

WISCONSIN WHOLESALE SELLING PRICES:  DELIVERED,                  
DOLLARS PER POUND (1000 - 5000 POUNDS MIXED LOTS)                
                                                                 
Process American 5# Loaf                   : 1.8225-2.5275       
Brick And/Or Muenster 5#                   : 2.0300-2.5900       
Cheddar 40# Block                          : 2.0300-2.9025       
Monterey Jack 10#                          : 2.0000-2.9025       
Blue 5#                                    : 2.2950-3.2800       
Mozzarella 5 - 6# (Low Moisture, Part Skim): 1.8750-3.0025       
Grade A Swiss Cuts 6 - 9#                  : 3.1100-3.2275       



1:00 CST eric.graf@ams.usda.gov



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