If you're a dairy farmer you've seen good times and bad times -- most say more bad than good. But the picture for dairy products out this week is mostly "neither here nor there."
A number of national dairy products saw prices dip slightly in the most recent National Dairy Product Sales Report from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, released May 23. Some climbed but only meekly.
Butter prices received for 25-kilogram and 68-pound boxes averaged $1.34 per pound in the report for the week ending May 19, 2012. That price was down by 3.5 cents from the previous week.
Seen over a longer five-week period, butter prices indicate an interesting trend and downward slide. On April 21 the price was $1.44 per pound, but that dipped to $1.42 on April 28, $1.41 on May 5, $1.37 on May 12 and, as noted above, $1.33 on May 19.
Cheddar Cheese prices were mixed for the week. The price for U.S. 40-pound blocks averaged $1.53 per pound according to the report. That was up slightly from the previous week.
However, the price trend for 40-pound blocks of cheddar cheese have trended in the opposite direction from butter prices over the most recent five weeks. On April 21 the price was $1.5045 and on April 28 $1.5030. On May 5 that increased to $1.5165 and on May 12 it climbed up to $1.5269. As reported above, May 19 saw another tiny increase compared to the previous week, to $1.5271.
The price for U.S. 500-pound barrels of Cheddar Cheese (adjusted to 38% moisture) averaged $1.49 per pound in the most recent tally, down half a cent from the previous week.
Dry Whey prices received for bag tote and tanker sales, meeting USDA Extra Grade standards, averaged 54.5 cents per pound for the week. The U.S. price per pound increased 1.5 cents from the previous week.
Nonfat Dry Milk prices received for bag, tote and tanker sales meeting USDA Extra Grade or U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Grade A standards averaged $1.14 per pound for the week. The U.S. price per pound was down 0.2 cents from the previous week.
Readers can see the full report here.