This past week, May 11 – 15, 2009 the number of loads of both block and barrel Cheddar traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was impressive. A total of 58 loads of blocks and 41 loads of barrels were traded.
On the old National Cheese Exchange, there were usually about 25 loads traded a week. An exception to that was the fourth week of October 1996 when a huge and successful effort was made to drive down the price of cheese – and, of course, farm milk.
To add a little perspective, in 2006,for the entire year,there were only 92 loads of block Cheddar traded.
Usually, when a large number of loads are traded, the intent is to drive down, or hold down the price.
A key feature of the recent world economic downturn was the lack of transparency. Naturally, the key players know who is trading. There is no reason other than to provide a smokescreen for the players that everyone is not made aware of who is driving the price down.