MADISON, Wis. -- According to Cheese Market News, soft demand and strong production will keep cheese prices low for the foreseeable future.
"There's tremendous supply, and demand is not that good," said Denis Wyssbrod, president of Dairystate Brands in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
Jim Walsh, director of marketing for Associated Milk Producers Inc., in New Ulm, Minn., suspects that data in the USDA's April Cold Storage report could be inaccurate. Actual inventory amounts, which are supplied voluntarily by producers and wholesalers, may be higher than reported, and thus holding back further price reductions.
Walsh also said the fact that cheese costs are so low -- some 40 cents per pound from a year ago -- is confusing. Stocks of American cheese, according to the Cold Storage report, are up only 1 percent from the same period in 2001.
John Epprecht of Great Lakes Cheese Co. in Hiram, Ohio, pins some of the high inventory blame on cheese users who didn't promote the product in the late winter and early spring. Both American cheese and mozzarella supplies are high, he said. Current cheese sales, he added, are good, but not fantastic.