These prices are from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a daily spot-market for cheese and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) weekly cheese price survey. Weekly prices set by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are used for cheese sales the following week.
Prices released by the AMS are from 99 reporting entities selling 1 million pounds or more of dairy products; there are 17 plants reporting 40-pound cheddar blocks. Announced at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the AMS price is always a half week behind. For example, the AMS price announced April 4 was for the week ending March 31.
The Chicago Mercantile replaced the National Cheese Exchange, historically an important market for pricing 80 to 90 percent of the wholesale cheese in the U.S. Also, the NCE has had a tremendous influence on farm milk prices because of the great effect it has on the basic formula price; the BFP is the foundation price for all prices under federal milk marketing orders.
Note: Since September 1, 1998, cheese has been traded daily at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. CME cash cheese trading takes place from 10:45 to 10:50 a.m. with a closing call that can go a maximum of another 10 minutes. This web page will continue to report yearly activity, while [Chicago Mercantile Cheese Exchange Daily Prices] will report the last five days of cheese market trading.
Since USDA began using the NASS survey and AMS report cheese price to update the BFP, the NASS/AMS 40-pound block cheese survey price has become an important benchmark.