The December Federal order Class III benchmark milk price was announced by the Agriculture Department at $13.78 per hundredweight, down 66 cents from November and $1.66 below December 2017. It equates to $1.18 per gallon, down from $1.24 in November and $1.33 a year ago. It is the lowest Class III price since February 2018 and put the 2018 average at $14.61, down from $16.17 in 2017 and $14.87 in 2016. California’s Class 4b cheese milk price averaged $15.20 in 2017 and $14.27 in 2016.
Class III futures settlements Thursday portended a January price at $14.32; February, $14.77; and March at $15.14, with a peak at $16.75 in September.
The December Class IV price is $15.09, up 3 cents from November and 1.58 above a year ago and the highest Class IV price since September 2017. The Class IV averaged $14.23 in 2018, down from $15.16 in 2017 and compares to $13.77 in 2016
The four-week average cheese price used in calculating the month’s Class prices was $1.3742 per pound, down 7.2 cents from November. Butter averaged $2.2425 per pound, down
2 1/2-cents, nonfat dry milk averaged 90.2 cents per pound, up 1.6 cents, and dry whey averaged 46.85 cents per pound, up fractionally. Courtesy Mielke Market Weekly