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Dairy CP Rose 0.4% In August; Average Retail Cheddar Cheese, Whole Milk Prices Increase

Agency Also Seeking Up To 60 Million Pounds Of Process Cheese For Delivery In 2017

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for dairy and related products was 215.506 in August (1982-84=100), up 0.4 percent from July but 2.4 percent lower than in August of 2015, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported last Friday.

The dairy CPI has now been below 220 for seven consecutive months, after having been above 220 for 24 straight months starting in February 2014.

August’s CPI for all items was 240.853, up 0.1 percent from July and 1.1 percent higher than in August 2015.

The August CPI for food at home was 238.088, down slightly from July and 1.9 percent lower than in August 2015.

August’s CPI for cheese and related products was 226.399, down 0.1 percent from July and 2.4 percent lower than in August 2015.

The average retail price for a pound of natural Cheddar cheese in August was $5.272, up almost nine cents from July but down more than six cents from August 2015.

The average retail Cheddar price has now been under $5.40 a pound for seven straight months.

The average retail price for a pound of American processed cheese in August was $4.273, down 10 cents from July and down more than seven cents from August 2015.

Fluid Milk Prices Rising
August’s CPI for whole milk was 200.104, up 1.2 percent from July but 4.4 percent lower than in August 2015. August’s CPI for “milk” was 138.747 (December 1997=100), up 1.2 percent from July but 4.9 percent lower than in August 2015. And August’s CPI for milk other than whole was 141.922, up 1.1 percent from July but 5.5 percent lower than in August 2015.

The average retail price for a gallon of whole milk in August was $3.141, up almost eight cents from July but down almost 25 cents from August 2015.

Retail milk prices continued to rise slowly in early September, according to the monthly survey conducted by federal milk marketing order market administrators. They conduct their survey one day between the 1st and 10th of each month in 29 selected cities or metro areas located in federal order markets; one outlet of the largest and second largest food store chains and the largest convenience store chain are surveyed.

In early September, retail whole milk prices averaged $3.38 per gallon, up two cents from early August and the highest average since early May’s $3.40 per gallon. The average retail price for a gallon of whole milk has been under $3.50 every month so far, in the market administrators’ survey.

In early September, average retail whole milk prices ranged from a low of $2.49 per gallon in both Cincinnati, OH, and Indianapolis, IN, to a high of $4.12 per gallon in Baltimore, MD.

In addition to Cincinnati and Indianapolis, cities with average retail whole milk prices under $3.00 per gallon in early September included Detroit, MI, $2.88; Houston, TX, $2.56; Louisville, KY, $2.78; and Phoenix, AZ, $2.69.

In addition to Baltimore, just one city had an average retail whole milk price at or above $4.00 per gallon in early September: Kansas City, MO, at $4.00.

Retail prices for reduced fat (2 percent) milk in early September averaged $3.32 per gallon, up two cents from early August and the highest average price since early May’s $3.34 per gallon.

In early September, the average retail price for reduced fat milk ranged from a low of $2.49 per gallon in both Cincinnati and Indianapolis to a high of $4.12 per gallon in Baltimore.

Retail prices for whole organic milk averaged $4.26 per half-gallon in early September, two cents lower than in early August, according to the market administrators’ survey, for which one outlet of the largest and second largest food store chains are surveyed.

In early Setpember, the average retail price for whole organic milk ranged from a low of $2.98 per half-gallon in Houston to a high of $5.39 per half-gallon in Pittsburgh, PA.

Retail prices for organic reduced fat milk also averaged $4.26 per half-gallon in early September, down two cents from early August.

August CPI For Butter Increases
The CPI for butter was 239.037, up 1.4 percent from August and 2.6 percent higher than in August 2015. That was the highest butter CPI since January’s 240.904.

August’s CPI for ice cream and related products was 215.878, up 1.3 percent from July and 0.5 percent higher than in August 2015.

The average retail price for a half-gallon of regular ice cream in was $4.71, up almost two cents from July and up more than 11 cents from August 2015.

CPI for other dairy and related products was 146.282 (December 1997=100), down 0.2 percent from July and 1.1 lower than in 2015.