Class IV milk prices continue to surprise the marketplace. These milk powder prices -- when higher than the Class III, or cheese, prices -- serve as the basis for payments to producers.
The USDA announced the December 2013 Class III price at $18.95 per hundredweight, which is up 12 cents from last month’s Class III price and up 29 cents from December 2012. This month’s Class IV price was announced at $21.54 per hundredweight. This is up $1.02 from November and up $3.71 from last year.
Strong exports continue to drive the uptick in Class IV, which has been higher than Class III since last February. This continues to benefit producers. As we move through January, it will be interesting to see if the predicted price drop will happen, or if things will remain the same.
--Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor
Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor.