Cheese Market Update from August 14-18, 2023
The cheese market is in the midst of a roller coaster ride as milk and cheese producers nationwide are adjusting to changing conditions. In the East, Bottling orders for milk are picking up as students are returning to school from summer vacations, meaning there is decreased availability of milk for Cheesemakers in the region. This, plus labor shortages, is contributing to lighter cheese production. In the Midwest, Spot milk availability is declining, and cheesemakers in the region say they are using internally-sourced or contracted milk volumes to run regular production schedules. Milk is also tightening in the West, but class III volumes are sufficient for steady cheesemaking.
Demand for Cheese and Cheese Inventories
Demand for cheese is comparatively steady in both the Midwest and West. Export cheese sales in the West are on the lighter end, but western contacts say retail demand is steady. Eastern contacts report strong food service orders of Mozzarella cheese. Cheese inventories vary across the Midwest, but an increasing number of contacts report some snugness in their inventories.
Cheese Prices Update
Cheese prices as reported by the CME show barrels closing at $1.8075 and 40-pound blocks at $2.0275. The weekly average for barrels is $1.8135 and Blocks is at $2.0150. Past CME Cheese Prices, for the week of August 14-18, 2023, had Barrels closing at $1.8075 and Blocks at $2.0275. Looking into the following week, on August 24, Barrels were listed at $1.8000 and Blocks at $1.9450, on August 23, Barrels were listed at $1.8050 and Blocks at $1.8900, on August 22, Barrels were listed at $1.8125 and Blocks at $1.9475, on August 21, Barrels were listed at $1.8050 and Blocks at $2.0075.
These CME reporting data show the cheese market is volatile, with prices changing rapidly. Experience cheesemakers urge consumers to follow updates on cheese pricing to get the best deals.
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