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

Class III futures finished last week mixed, with Q3 2015 settling between unchanged and 6¢ lower, while Q4 2015 closed out between unchanged and 7¢ higher. The 2Q 2015 futures pack averaged $15.37/cwt., dropping 35¢ over the course of the week, and a month-over month-decline of 17¢.

Cheese futures tallied nearly 500 total trades in route to contracts finishing the week mixed. The 2Q 2015 futures pack averaged 1.5870/lb., declining 3.83¢ week over week. 

Dry whey contracts erased early session strength to settle mixed.  The 2Q 2015 futures pack averaged 43.525¢, gaining 1.5250¢ higher week over week.

Class IV futures settled between unchanged and 22¢ lower, as the weakness of the NFDM and butter markets continues to drive values lower.  The 2Q 2015 futures pack averaged $14.56/cwt., posting a week-over-week decline of 62¢.  Over the past month the second quarter pack average has declined by $1.63. 

NFDM futures settled Friday between unchanged and 3.5¢ lower.  The 2Q 2105 futures pack averaged $1.08/lb., dropping 6.067¢ week over week.

Butter futures closed out last week lower. The 2Q 2015 futures pack average $1.74/lb., shedding 4.025¢ over the past week. 

USDEC released dairy export figures for January, highlighting the decline for U.S. products.  Exports to our three biggest importers – Mexico, Southeast Asia and Canada – were down 20%, 53% and 9%, respectively. 

U.S. dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection for the week ending Feb. 28 was estimated at 58,400 head, up 1,100 head (1.9%) from the week prior, but 4.6% lower than the similar period last year.  Year-to-date estimated slaughter is 550,600 head, 3.6% higher year over year. 


March 13 spot session results:

Block cheese: $1.5700 (unchanged)

Barrel cheese: $1.5450 (unchanged)

Grade A NFDM: 99.25¢ (down 0.25¢)

Butter: $1.6950 (down 1.0¢)


Today's expectations:

• Class III futures to open lower

• Cheese & Dry Whey futures to open soft

• Class IV, Butter & NFDM futures top open lower


Grain futures

Grain markets ended last week shedding value as fundamental forces weighed on these markets.  The Dollar index soared again in value; the price of crude oil collapsed; while the threats of trucker strikes in South America have subsided. 


Today’s expectation:

• Corn & Soybean futures to open lower


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