(click on image to enlarge)
No one enjoys being told I am wrong more than I do. A commenter on the post for February 14, 2011, Dave, went to great trouble to accuse me of error.
His first comment stated:
"Numbers don't lie, please cite a source. Something smells real fishy with this one."
He then stated:
"Yes, I do. John's export price in comparison to CME Block prices is deceiving. His $/lb export price is for ALL CHEESES. Since CME Cheese is Fresh Only, why not compare Fresh Cheese Export Prices to CME BLocks?
The average Fresh Cheese Export Price for 2010 was $1.63/lb."
Next he stated:
"How does your export price (which includes COLBY, BLUE, PROCESSED, AND MIXT) compare to world CHEDDAR prices? It doesn't.
We're beating a dead horse. Careful with your numbers."
Dave's price of $1.63/pound for "fresh cheese" is correct for all kinds of fresh cheese, including some which may have more than 50% moisture. Cheddar has a moisture content of about 38%. The number is not exclusively limited to fresh Cheddar exports. Naturally then, the number for fresh cheese would be considerably lower than the number for fresh Cheddar cheese. The above graph shows that while there is some difference, it is not great. The statistical correlation between the "export" price and the "fresh Cheddar export price", is .72.
I used the "export" data for all cheese because I mentioned the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program which allows for a number of varieties. See:http://www.cwt.coop/sites/default/files/pdf/CWT-Export-Assistance-Application-Sept-2010.pdf
Most of the cheese exported under the CWT program is Cheddar. The fresh Cheddar export price is actually a nickel higher than world price for Cheddar, as report by USDA's Dairy Market News.
The data, and I don't really think it matters whether you use only the fresh Cheddar data or the total cheese export data, really calls into question, what exactly the dairy farmers who throw money into CWT are getting in return.