Cheese and Dairy Markets



BUTTER: The weekly average for Grade AA increased +.0065/lb.

CHEESE: The weekly average for blocks decreased -.0535/lb.

Contacts report that cream markets are steady in the West. Cream inventories are available regionally to meet production needs. Ice cream makers are buying loads of cream as they continue to produce in preparation for warmer weather. Some butter makers say that they are making use of cream loads internally, rather than selling loads. Contacts report that they are running busy production schedules as they are working to build inventories. Some plant managers say that labor shortages and delayed deliveries of production supplies are preventing them from running at capacity. Retail demand is declining as high prices have caused some grocery store shoppers to consider butter alternatives. Stakeholders say that food service demand is steady. Spot inventories of unsalted butter are, reportedly, becoming more available. Bulk butter overages range from 4.0 - 15.0 cents above the CME market value.

Contacts report that strong export demand for cheese is present, in the West. Retail sales of cheese have reportedly slid lower this week but that decrease has been countered by an increase in food service demand. Spot purchasers say that inventories of blocks are becoming more available, as port congestion is causing some exporters to sell spot loads of cheese intended for export. Meanwhile, contacts report that cheese barrel inventories have tightened this week. On the CME, cheese barrel prices have moved higher since last Wednesday, while blocks slid lower. Milk is available, as cheese producers are running busy schedules in the region. Labor shortages and delayed deliveries of production supplies are, reportedly, causing some plant managers to run below capacity.