Only recently, pundits were saying the price of cheese would not go below $1.50. Today,blocks slipped further (down 1.5 cents) and barrels slipped even more ( down 3.25 cents) on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
For those who are wondering, the main seller has been the same as last year - Jerome Cheese. Kraft has become quite active as a seller of barrels.
There are stories circulating as to why Kraft is dumping cheese. I find them unconvincing. No one goes to the CME to buy and sell dairy products, there are plenty of brokers who can take care of that. Players go to the CME to set price - which is going down.
Interestingly, Kroger (supermarkets) has been buying barrel cheese. While Kroger has processing facilities, they do not include cheese processing. In Kroger's last SEC filing, Kroger complains about lack of profitability and specifically mentions, dairy deflation hurting profits. That is, retail prices had been falling in the third quarter of 2009. Who knows what Kroger is doing buying barrel cheese on the CME, but, it is obvious from the positions they are taking on the spot market, Kroger is helping to drive down price.
Daisy Brands drove down NFDM today. Daisy Brands produces Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese. According to the Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR) Sec. 131.160 Sour cream and Sec. 133.128 Cottage cheese, neither product uses NFDM.
There is an ancient Chinese expression, "The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their real names." The CME is not a market and the games played there are not fun.