CHICAGO—Block cheddar trades on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) grew from a trickle to a torrent in the past few days, signaling a potential slip in open-market cheese prices.
According to the CME Web site, from May 3-5, 44 loads of block cheese were traded--more than the total number moved over the past two months. Despite the activity—on a market where as little as one load can send prices falling or soaring—block prices remained steady at $2.15 per pound.
That price may not hold for long, said Jim Tillison, executive director of the Alliance of Western Milk Producers. According to a Dairyline.com report, block prices may fall below $2 before the end of spring, but Tillison warned that such relief maybe short lived. Another price run-up in the fall is highly possible, though he doesn't foresee those prices eclipsing this spring's record highs.