Class III futures ended the day with stronger gains. Contract months from May through November closed above the $18 mark. USDA announced the March Federal Order class prices Wednesday. The Class II price was $15.07, up $1.07 from February but $1.68 lower than a year prior. March Class III was $16.15, up $0.40 from the previous month but $0.10 lower than in March 2020. March Class IV was announced at $14.18, an increase of $0.99 from the month prior, but $0.69 lower than a year ago. Traders overestimated the Class III by $0.05. Traders also overestimated the Class IV price by $0.12. The Agricultural Price Report was released Wednesday, providing the prices for the income-over-feed calculation used in the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. February's income-over-feed price was $6.22, a decline of $0.92 from January and increasing payments made to producers enrolled in the program. The average corn price in February increased 51 cents per bushel to $4.75. The central Illinois soybean meal price moved down $11.96 per ton to $427.28 for February. Alfalfa hay price climbed $4 per ton to $175 while the premium/supreme (dairy quality) hay added $5 per ton to move to $211. The blended hay price used for the DMC program was $193 per ton, up $4.50 from the January price. The all-milk price for February was $17.10, down $0.40 from January and $1.80 lower than a year prior.
AVERAGE CLASS III PRICES:
Cheese prices moved in different directions with still no purchase of spot barrels for the week. It has been a year from the first influx of retail cheese purchase demand skyrocketing while foodservice demand fell apart. Cheese manufactures are still working on the many issues caused by the sudden shift in demand and other infrastructure issues but have seen the problems of the past as growth potential for the future.
Although spot butter closed lower, the actively traded session shows demand is there. Butter futures settled higher Wednesday. The February Dairy Products report will be released Thursday.
OUTSIDE MARKETS SUMMARY:
May corn jumped 25 cents to close at $5.64 1/4 per bushel. May soybeans rocketed 70 cents, ending at $14.36 3/4. May soybean meal also climbed higher, adding $25 per ton and closing at $423.20. May wheat increased 16 1/4 cents, closing at $6.18. April live cattle was unchanged to close at $120.97. May crude oil declined $1.39, closing at $59.16 per barrel. The DOW fell 85 points, closing at 32982 while the NASDAQ also jumped 201 points, closing at 13.247.