Weekly Commodity Prices Update (7/2)


For the week:

September corn was up 61 3/4 cents and December corn was up 60 1/2 cents. August soybeans closed up $1.30 1/2 cents and November soybeans were up $1.29 1/4 cents. September KC wheat closed up 10 1/4 cents, September Chicago wheat was up 12 cents and September Minneapolis wheat was up 30 3/4 cents.


From Friday to Friday, livestock futures scored the following changes: August live cattle down $0.80, October live cattle down $0.33; August feeder cattle down $2.50, September feeder cattle down $1.82; July lean hogs up $6.70, August lean hogs up $0.45.

Friday's slaughter is estimated at 113,000 head -- 3,000 head fewer than a week ago and 6,000 head more than a year ago. Saturday's kill is projected to be around 33,000 head. This week's total slaughter is estimated at 623,000 head -- 42,000 head more than the same week a year ago.

Boxed beef prices closed lower: choice down $2.21 ($285.44) and select down $2.52 ($264.41) with a movement of 103 loads (56.58 loads of choice, 16.35 loads of select, 8.07 loads of trim and 21.95 loads of ground beef). Throughout the week, choice cuts averaged $290.83 (down $21.84 from last week's average), and select cuts averaged $268.99 (down $8.80 from last week's average). The week's total movement of cuts, grinds and trim totaled 648 loads.


Class III milk futures moved higher during the week only to fall back near where they were at the end of last week. Traders' hopes of a market beginning to trend higher were dashed when barrels slipped back down again. This is interesting since cheese prices actually closed higher for the week. One would have thought the increase of cheese would have kept prices higher than they were a week ago. However, some pressure stemmed from the decline of the dry whey price. Trader psychology will need to be turned in order to resurrect some sort of bullishness. A market that begins trending higher consistently will be needed, and that may be a tall order for the foreseeable future. But anything is possible now that we are in the second half of the year and it is a time when buyers generally become more aggressive as they look ahead to upcoming demand and begin preparing for it. The only drawback is that they have been able to purchase significant volumes of dairy products due to manufacturers desiring to move product to the market as quickly as possible rather than hold onto it with the hope of stronger prices down the road. Buyers may already have the ownership of sufficient volumes of product, leaving them less aggressive later this year. Markets will be close on Monday for an extended July Fourth holiday.


American cheese production totaled 473 million pounds, up 7.2% from May 2020, according to the May Dairy Products report released Friday. The comparisons will be skewed due to the disruption in production a year ago due to COVID. So, the main thing we can look at is the overall level of production, and that level was strong. Italian-type cheese production totaled 481 million pounds, down 0.2% from a year ago. Total cheese output reached 1.16 billion pounds, up 5.0% above May 2020. Dry whey production totaled 77.7 million pounds, down 7.6%. For the week, block cheese price increased 6.50 cents with only two loads traded. Barrels increased a penny with 17 loads traded. Dry whey price declined 2.25 cents with three loads traded.


Butter production totaled 185 million pounds, an increase of 7.6% over May 2020. Nonfat dry milk production totaled 205 million, up 30.6% over a year ago. Skim milk powder production totaled 35.7 million pounds, down 37.0% from a year ago. For the week, butter price increased 2.25 cents with 26 loads traded. Grade A nonfat dry milk declined 0.75 cent.

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