It’s not the best way to end one year and start a new one but farm gate milk prices continue to slide. The Agriculture Department announced the December Federal order Class III benchmark milk price Thursday at $13.83 per hundredweight, down $1.61 from November, and $1.15 below December 2009. That pulled the 2010 average down to $14.41, up from $11.36 in 2009, but compares to $17.44 in 2008.
Looking ahead, the Class III futures were trading late Thursday morning as follows: January $13.28, February $13.84, March $14.15, and April was at $14.57, with the peak at $15.73 in October.
The December Class IV price is $15.03, down $1.65 from November, but 2 cents above December 2009.
The four-week NASS surveyed cheese price averaged $1.4606 per pound, down 15.5 cents from November. Butter averaged $1.6539, down 36.9 cents. Nonfat dry milk averaged $1.1848, down a penny, and dry whey averaged 37.89 cents, up fractionally. California’s December 4a and 4b prices will be announced Monday, January 3.