LYNDEN, Wis. -- Searing heat and drought in several U.S. locations sent cheese block prices rising sharply over the last week.
Since dipping to a near-two-year low of $1.01 on July 25, prices on 40-pound blocks have risen nearly 16 cents per pound.
In a report on Dairyline.com, dairy analyst Jerry Dryer said hot, dry weather has trimmed milk production coast to coast dramatically and "gave supporters the opportunity to push cheese prices higher in very heavy trading."
Yet whether this is a repeat of performance of July 11's price blip -- followed by a sharp fall -- remains to be seen, said Dryer, editor of Dairy Market Analyst newsletter.
Higher prices will hang tough, Dryer said, "if Mother Nature puts the pedal to the metal and keeps the thermostat cranked up and holds off on rain." But if temps cool even for a few days, "this market won't hold ... ."
Cash cheese prices strengthened on July 29 and 30, encouraging producers that the price rebound, which began on July 26, will last. Blocks gained 2.5 cents on the 29th plus another 3 cents on the 30th, rebounding to $1.17 per pound, well above price-support level.