Midwest Cheese Manufacturers Busy

Midwest cheese manufacturers continue to receive strong buying interest from many types of customers such as retail, food service, and brokers.

There was a surprising degree of phone inquiries beginning last Friday from mostly cheese brokers to manufacturers, looking for barrels for immediate delivery. This coincided with the recent run up of barrel prices on CME Group trading. Manufacturers receiving calls seeking barrels were generally not sure of what motivated the sudden intensity of inquiries. Some barrels moved as a result of the interest but some remained with manufacturers who anticipated profits ahead by holding now. Barrel availability is tighter than blocks as a rule.

Cheese overall remains a sought after commodity. Many regional cheese manufacturers are accepting all the milk they can find. A number of manufacturers are also acquiring spot milk to increase cheese production volumes. The DMN National Retail Report-Dairy, found that March 27 to April 2 Midwest ads for eight-ounce shredded cheese have a weighted average advertised price of $2.38, four cents lower than the national average, $2.42. The Midwest price range is $1.66 to $3.

One year ago the national average price was $2.44. For eight-ounce blocks, the Midwest average price is $2.29, 18 cents lower than the national average price, $2.47. Midwest ads are priced from $1.50 to $2.50. One year ago the national average price was $2.44. Wisconsin wholesale prices for 1,000 to 5,000 pound mixed lots of process cheese declined $.0250, Swiss is unchanged and the remaining varieties declined $.0275. In CME Group cheese trading, barrels closed Wednesday this week at $1.5950, up $.0850 from Wednesday last week and blocks closed at $1.5800, up $.0500.

Wisconsin Wholesale Selling Prices: Delivered, dollars per pound

Process American 5# Loaf: 1.6225-1.9825

Brick and/or Muenster 5#: 1.9100-2.3350

Cheddar 40# Block: 1.6375-2.0325

Monterey Jack 10#: 1.8850-2.0900

Blue 5#: 2.1775-3.1650

Mozzarella 5 – 6# (Low Moisture, Part Skim): 1.7550-2.6500

Grade A Swiss Cuts 6 – 9#: 2.9525-3.0700

Dairy market news from the Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.