January federal and California milk marketing order minimum prices began the year weaker.
Federal order Class III & IV milk prices were announced Feb. 4 by USDA’s Ag Marketing Service. January prices, compared to previous month and year, include:
• Class III: $16.18/cwt., down $1.64 from December 2014 and $4.97 less than January 2014. It is the lowest since June 2012. The 2014 average was $22.34/cwt., up $4.35 from 2013.
• Class IV: $13.23/cwt., down $3.47 from December 2014, and $9.06 less than January 2014. It is the lowest since March 2010. The 2014 average was $22.09/cwt., up $3.03 from 2013.
California’s January 2015 Class 4a/4b milk prices were announced on Monday, Feb. 2.
• Class 4a: $13.09/cwt., down $3.48 from December 2014, $9.04 below a year ago, and the lowest since March 2010. The Class 4a price has declined about 4% since peaking at $23.83/cwt. last August.
• Class 4b: $13.75/cwt., down $1.03 from December, $6.56 less than January 2014, and the lowest since May 2012. The Class 4b price is down about 39% since peaking at $22.39/cwt. last October. The January California Class 4b price is $2.43 less than the comparable federal order Class III price.