Dairy Market: Benchmark price drops $1.08

The USDA announced the December Federal order Class III benchmark milk price at $19.37 per hundredweight, down $1.08 from November, $5.59 above December 2018, and the highest December price since 2007.

That put the 2019 Class III average at $16.96, up from $14.61 in 2018 and $16.17 in 2017.

Monday’s Class III futures settlements portended a January price of $16.97; February, $17.01; and March at $17.24. The January price was the low for 2020, with the peak at $17.60 in September.

The December Class IV price is $16.70 per cwt., up 10 cents from November, $1.61 above a year ago, and the highest Class IV price since August. Its 2019 average i