The USDA reported the July Class III milk price at $17.55, up $1.28 from June prices and up $3.45 from July 2018. Class IV prices almost broke the $17 ceiling, landing at $16.90 up 7 cents from June and $2.76 from a year ago. The Class III price is at its highest level since December 2014.
Fueling the price increase was a jump in components. Cheese prices took a nice jump, landing at $1.8238 per pound which is up from $1.6910 in June and up considerably from July 2018 when the price was $1.4868 per pound. The price for protein also increased, moving from $2.0046 in June to $2.4032 in July. Butter and butterfat prices were up slightly.
Prices have increased steadily throughout 2019, fueled by stagnant milk production and relatively consistent domestic and global demand. Cow numbers have fallen considerably, while production per cow has only seen modest increases.
Economists predict the strong price trend to continue throughout 2019 as production continues to stall and demand grows as the Holiday season arrives.