Milk Futures

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Milk Futures Market

Milk futures, often referred to as dairy futures, are an agricultural future that is traded on the CME. The CME has offered various varieties of milk futures, but currently it only offers two types, Class III and Class IV. Both classes can be sold as milk futures and nonfat dry milk futures.

Milk Futures History

Dairy futures have been traded in various forms on the CME since 1996. The CME has adapted milk futures over time to keep pace with the constant change in government price support for milk. Cash settlement is currently based on the price of Class III milk, but was originally based on the Minnesota-Wisconsin price.

Milk Futures Facts

While milk futures were originally added to the CME in 1996, changes were made in 2000 when the CME split milk futures into Class III and Class IV futures. Class III milk futures are used to produce American cheese and are appropriately nicknamed “cheese milk”. Class IV milk futures are used to produce butter and nonfat dry milk.

Trading Milk Futures

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses special formulas to calculate prices for each milk class
  • Aside from butter, all CME dairy futures products are cash settled through the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
  • Milk Futures contracts can be purchased the entire calendar year, January through December
  • The government publishes monthly numbers to settle the Class II and Class IV futures, numbers are published the Friday before the 5th of the following month.

Milk III Futures Prices & Contract Specifications

Contract Symbol Contract Unit Price Quotation
DC 200,000 lbs dollars per hundredweight
Trading Exchange Trading Hours Tick Value
CME GLOBEX 17:00 – 16:00 .01 per cwt = $20.00

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