USDA announced the March Class I base price (or 'mover') at $14.34 per cwt. -- down 50 cents from February and down 69 cents from January... but $4.91 above last year's lowest point, which occurred in March 2009 when the Class I base was at $9.43/cwt.
The Class I base price has declined for two consecutive months. The March Class I base price is calculated on the following NASS Survey product price averages for the first two weeks of February: Cheese $1.51/lb; Butter $1.37/lb; Nonfat dry milk $1.14/lb; Dry Whey $0.39/lb
CME spot trades last week saw cheese prices fall to $1.41/lb on blocks and $1.37/lb on barrels. Butter lost 2 cents, falling to $1.36/lb, and nonfat dry milk was unchanged at $1.12. With the NASS Survey lag time, these prices will hit future Federal Order announcements. On Friday's close, Class III milk futures traded at $13.37 for March, $13.04 for April and $13.17 for May. Far away contracts for Jan. 2011 have been closing daily on either side of the $15 mark.