Cheese - West
USDA - Wed Jan 03, 3:05PM CST
MD DA840 Cheese - West                                           

MADISON, WI.  January 03, 2018 (REPORT 1)                        

WEST CHEESE                                                      

Western cheese production is active. There is still plenty of milk for most processing 
needs, but some of the milk is refilling the bottling pipeline following the winter 
holidays. As schools restart and draw more milk, the pressure to find processing space in 
cheese vats has eased somewhat. Many cheesemakers want to accentuate the positives as the 
new year begins, but there is a level of uncertainty lingering within the dairy industry. 
While industry contacts suggest overall domestic cheese demand has been solid, demand for 
mozzarella has been stagnant. Export interest may be increasing, but it may be due to 
lower price points. While stocks have become more comfortable, there is the underlying 
sense that milk production regionally, nationally and globally, will continue to fuel the 
production of cheese and rebuild cheese inventories. The bulls and bears are trying to 
discern the future of the cheese market in the early stages of the new year, but the 
future is difficult to predict. The DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of 
December 29-January 4 shows the U.S. weighted average advertised retail price for an 8 
ounce pack of natural shredded cheese is $2.12, up $.04 from last week. Packs average 
$2.34 in the Southwest and $2.28 in the Northwest. One year ago, the national price was 
$2.20. For 8 ounce blocks, the U.S. price is $2.17, down $.03 from last week. Blocks 
average $2.54 in the Southwest and $1.85 in the Northwest. One year ago, the national 
price was $2.07. In the West, wholesale prices were down $.0200 for process, but up 
$.0525 for cheddar block, cuts, and Monterey Jack. Swiss cut wholesale prices are 
unchanged from last week. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 
November 2017 cheese production was 211.1 million pounds, up 0.6 percent from a year ago. 
California year-to-date cheese production through November is 2.296 billion pounds, down 
0.1 percent from 2016 cheese production through November. The CME Group December 2017 
monthly average price for barrels, $1.5426, is down from the November 2017 monthly 
average of $1.6656, and down from the monthly average of a year ago, $1.6132. Blocks' 
December average price, $1.4900, is down from the $1.6590 November monthly average, and 
down from $1.7335 one year ago. The average price through the year of 2017 was $1.5341 
for barrels and $1.6106 for blocks. In CME Group trading Wednesday, barrels closed at 
$1.4000, down $.0400 from a week ago and blocks closed at $1.5075, unchanged. 

(1000 - 5000 POUNDS MIXED LOTS)                                  
Process 5# Loaf                              : 1.5150-1.7725     
Cheddar 40# Block                            : 1.6400-2.0850     
Cheddar 10# Cuts                             : 1.8200-2.0400     
Monterey Jack 10#                            : 1.8300-1.9900     
Grade A Swiss Cuts 6 - 9#                    : 2.8425-3.2725     

1530CT 608-422-8592
USDA/AMS/Dairy Market News, Madison, Wisconsin
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