Federal and California milk marketing order prices for manufacturing classes of milk were announced April 1, noted DairyLine Radio’s Lee Mielke.
The March 2011 federal order Class III price is $19.40/cwt., up $2.40 from February 2011 and $6.62 more than March 2010. The March 2011 Class IV price is $19.41/cwt., up $1.01 from February 2011 and $6.49 more than a year ago.
March 2011 federal order Class II, III & IV prices are the highest dating back to 2007-08. Through the first quarter of 2011, averages and changes compared to the same period of 2010 are: Class II – $17.86 /cwt., +$2.75; Class III – $16.63/cwt., +$2.78; & Class IV – $18.08/cwt., +$4.86.
The California milk marketing order’s March 4b milk price is $16.76/cwt., down 16¢ from February 2011, but $5.63 more than March 2010. The 4a milk price is $19.06/cwt., up $1.18 from February 2011, and $6.22 more than March 2010.
Through the first quarter of 2011, averages and changes compared to the same period of 2010 are: Class 4a – $17.81/cwt., +$4.67; Class 4b – $15.39/cwt., +$3.12.
Market analyst Alan Levitt told DairyLine the California order uses the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) block cheese price in its milk price calculations, instead of the USDA National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) survey prices used in federal orders.
CME cheddar block prices crashed in mid March, thus the drop in California’s March 4b price. The impact won’t show up in the federal order Class III price until April, due to the lag in the NASS surveys. Also, rising whey prices have no bearing on the California 4b price, but do impact federal order Class III prices. So, that added to the federal order Class III/California 4b disparity in March.
Looking at the past week, cash cheddar blocks closed Friday at $1.5950/lb., down 3.5¢ on the week, but 16.5¢ more than the corresponding week a year ago. Cheddar barrels closed at $1.5725/lb., down 6.75¢ on the week, but 19.75¢ more than a year ago. Thirty-nine carloads of blocks traded hands; three of barrels.
Butter finished the week at $1.99/lb., down 8.5¢ on the week, but still 49.5¢ more than the corresponding week a year ago. Seventeen cars were sold.
Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Friday at $1.70/lb., down a nickel; while Extra Grade held all week at $1.80/lb.