Cheese and Dairy Markets



BUTTER: The weekly average increased +.0125/lb.

CHEESE: The weekly average for blocks decreased -0.1270/lb.

Cream is a little lighter in the West this week. Persistent hauler shortages make availability seem even tighter in areas where transportation is hindered. Butter production is seasonally active, although there are some production variations depending on cream supplies/deliveries. Some plant managers say production this year has already exceeded 2020 production at their facilities. Inventories are ample, and butter is available for spot and contract needs. Retail sales are steady to slightly higher. Food service demand is also seeing an uptick as some fine dining establishments return to full operating levels. Bulk butter overages are unchanged from last week.

Demand for cheese at both retail and food service markets has held steady, in the West, this week. Export demand is steady, as current lower market prices are favorable to international purchasers. Purchasers in Asian markets are, reportedly, a strong driver of current export demand. Cheese market prices are lower. Since last Wednesday, the price for cheese blocks on the CME have fallen by $0.2150, while the barrel price has fallen by $0.2225. Contacts report a need to move available product quickly, as warehouse space is limited. Delays to loads, in the region, have led to a buildup of inventories. Load delays are occurring due to a shortage of truck drivers, limited available shipping supplies, and port congestion. While milk production has passed it seasonal peak, cheese producers continue to run busy schedules to work through available supplies.