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  March 30, 2010

The April Class I advance base "mover" was announced March 19 at $13.22. This is more than a buck below March and the lowest since November 2009. This will trigger a MILC payment.

Meanwhile, block cheddar bids on the CME did a turnaround last Friday into the first two days of this week, but there have been no sellers. On Tuesday, March 30, blocks closed at $1.3525/lb and barrels $1.34/lb. Milk futures have gained with September and October future prices trading above $15 Tuesday.

Butter prices are still just under $1.50/lb at $1.49/lb. Tuesday, March 30 and powder has gained ground, with spot cash bids at $1.18 this week.

Some say the latter half of the year could be short on milk if forced liquidation ensues as is rumored in the West. This is causing some analysts to be bullish on late 2010 milk prices. Then again, heifer numbers are up and slaughter numbers are average.

The February milk production report showed a gain of 0.1% as cow numbers grew 3,000 head. Combined with January's extra cows, that's a combined 6,000 more cows over the past 60 days after numbers were cut by over 250,000 last year. USDA's milk production report released Thursday (Mar. 18) showed Arizona and Washington each added 3,000 cows last month. However, where Washington's production is up nearly 7% over year ago, Arizona's February production was nearly 7% below year ago.

Idaho's production was up 3.7%, Wisconsin up 5.7%, Minnesota up 1.4%, Pennsylvania's production was essentially flat compared with year ago and New York lost 0.7% of its production compared with Feb. 2009. California's production is 1.6% below February a year ago. 



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