Block cheddar closed Valentine’s Week at $1.58 per pound, down 3 cents on the week and 9 1/4-cents above a year ago.
The barrels held at $1.65 per pound for five consecutive sessions last week but slipped to $1.62 Friday, down 3 cents on the week and 14 cents above a year ago.
The markets were closed Monday for President’s Day but the blocks plunged a nickel Tuesday, to $1.53, the lowest price since Oct. 13. The barrels were down 2 cents, to $1.60, an inverted 7 cents above the blocks.
Cheesemakers in the Midwest continue to see readily available milk, according to Dairy Market News. Overall cheese demand is slow and stocks are long.
Cash butter closed Friday at $2.1575 per pound, up 5 1/2-cents on the week and 10 1/4-cents above a year ago.
The butter shed 1.75-cents Tuesday and slipped to $2.14.
Central butter producers are seeing plenty of cream, says DMN, and butter production is increasing. Western output is also active and cream is plentiful.
Political uncertainty regarding the Trump administration’s trade policy provided downward pressure on the cash Grade A nonfat dry milk, which closed Friday at 87 cents per pound, down a nickel on the week, 12 1/2-cents above year ago, and the lowest spot since November.
The powder inched up a half-cent Tuesday, to 87 1/2-cents per pound.
U.S. exports are in limbo, not just because of politics and higher prices, but currency valuation.
Milk up 2.7 percent
U.S. milk production started 2017 well above a year ago as cow numbers and output per cow remain strong. The Agriculture Department’s preliminary data showed January output in the top 23 producing states at 17 billion pounds, up 2.7 percent from January 2016.
The 50-state total, at 18.1 billion on pounds, was up 2.5 percent. Revisions lowered the original December estimate 2 million pounds, now pegged at 16.8 billion, up 2.6 percent from December 2015.
January cow numbers in the 23 states totaled 8.69 million head, up 5,000 from December and 67,000 more than a year ago.
Output per cow averaged 1,957 pounds, up 37 pounds from a year ago.
California output slipped for the first time in three months, down 0.6 percent from a year ago, on a drop of 14,000 cows. Output per cow was only up 5 pounds.
Wisconsin made up the shortfall, up 1.0 percent, on a 20-pound gain per cow, but cow numbers were unchanged.
Texas garnered the most attention again and had the biggest gain, up 19.2 percent from a year ago, thanks to a whopping 39,000 more cows and a 180-pound gain per cow, but that was measured against the aftereffects of Winter Storm Goliath, as is the case with New Mexico, which was up 15.3 percent, on a 190-pound per cow increase and 15,000 more cows.
Michigan was up 3.5 percent, on 12,000 additional cows and 10 pounds more per cow.
Idaho also milked 12,000 more cows but saw a 20-pound drop in output per cow, resulting in just a 1 percent increase.
New York was up 3.8 percent, on a 70-pound gain per cow and 1,000 more cows. Pennsylvania was up 2 percent, thanks to a 50 pound gain per cow, but cow numbers were down 5,000 head.
Minnesota was up 1.7 percent on a 30 pound gain per cow. Cow numbers were unchanged. Washington was down 0.4 percent, on 2,000 fewer cows, though output per cow was up 5 pounds.
Global dairy traders reversed direction in Tuesday’s Global Dairy Trade auction. The weighted average for all products offered dropped 3.2 percent, following a 1.3 percent increase Feb. 7.
Buttermilk powder led the declines for the third event in a row, plunging 12.9 percent. Cheddar cheese was down 5.3 percent, skim milk powder was down 3.8 percent, and whole milk powder was down 3.7 percent. Anhydrous milkfat was off 1.3 percent, following a 4 percent gain last time.
Lactose was up 6.8 percent and butter inched 0.2 percent higher, after it saw a 4.9 gain last time.
FC Stone equated the average 80 percent butterfat GDT butter price to $2.0348 per pound U.S. CME butter closed Tuesday at $2.14 per pound.
GDT cheddar cheese equated to $1.6286 per pound U.S. and compares to Tuesday’s CME block cheddar at $1.53. GDT skim milk powder was at $1.1677 per pound and whole milk powder averaged $1.4463 per pound U.S.
CME Grade A nonfat dry milk price closed Tuesday at 87 1/2-cents per pound.