This Week's Top Story

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This Week's Other Stories:

EDITORIAL COMMENT: The Stunning Turnaround In The US Dairy Trade Balance

OTHER NEWS: In 2013, Domestic Use Of Dry Whey, Lactose Fell, Domestic Use Of WPC, WPI Increased

OTHER NEWS: Numerous Cheese, Dairy Projects Receive USDA Value-Added Producer Grants

Need For Higher Stock Levels Exists by Bob Cropp

NYC’s Newest Cheese Cave Created In 1850s Underground Lagering Tunnels
Crown Finish Caves Partners With Parish Hill Creamery’s Peter Dixon For Aging Venture


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Butter Price Sets Record, Cheese Prices Keep Rising, GDT Falls 0.6%

CME Butter Price Hits $2.8225, Breaking Previous Record High Of $2.8100 Set In 1998; Block Price Is Highest Since April

The CME cash market price for butter reached a record high of $2.8225 per pound today, breaking a record that dates back to 1998.

That record, $2.8100 per pound, was set on September 4, 1998, and then again two weeks later, after the price fell to $2.7900 per pound on September 11, 1998. That was back when trading on the CME butter cash market took place just once a week.

Since 1998, the CME cash butter price has risen above $2.00 per pound during five different years: in 2001 (when butter was traded on the CME three days per week), when it reached $2.0100 per pound on June 20 and later peaked at $2.2250 per pound in August; in 2004, when it reached $2.11 per pound on March 5 and peaked at $2.3650 per pound on April 14; in 2010, when the price reached $2.0300 per pound on August 19 and peaked at $2.2350 per pound in late September and early October; in 2011, when the price reached $2.1000 per pound on January 7 and peaked at $2.1800 per pound in late May; and here in 2014.

For an entire year, the highest annual average for the CME butter price was $1.9618 per pound, set in 2011.

The CME cash market butter price actually started this week on a downward trend, falling 2.5 cents per pound on Monday to $2.6350 a pound. A total of 16 cars of butter were sold Monday, the first 15 of which were sold below $2.6350 per pound.

After Monday, the butter price increased Tuesday on an unfilled bid for one car at $2.6600 (there were no sales), rose Wednesday on offer-based sales of two cars at $2.7000 (a total of nine cars were sold), increased Thursday on an offer-based sale of one car at $2.7600 (a total of eight cars were sold), and then increased today on a bid-based sale of one car at $2.8225 (a total of six cars were sold).

Meanwhile, the CME cash market price for 40-pound Cheddar blocks climbed to $2.2625 per pound today, the highest level since mid-April, while 500-pound barrels reached $2.2600 per pound today, the highest level since late March.

Among the dairy commodities traded daily on the CME’s cash market, only nonfat dry milk prices have been declining. The Grade A NDM price settled today at $1.3000 per pound, and has now declined in 15 consecutive trading sessions. Grade A NDM was last above $2.00 per pound on March 31, when it settled at $2.0300.

Meanwhile, on Global Dairy Trade’s (GDT) semi-monthly dairy product auction this week, the GDT price index declined 0.6 percent from the previous auction, held two weeks ago.

Prices were higher for butter, whole milk powder and anhydrous milkfat and lower for Cheddar cheese, skim milk powder, rennet casein and buttermilk powder.

Results from this week’s GDT auction, with comparisons to the auction held two weeks ago, were as follows:

Cheddar cheese: The average