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Dairy CPI Rose 0.1% In October; Retail Cheddar, Whole Milk Prices Increased

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for dairy and related products was 216.8 in October (1982-84=100), up 0.1 percent from September but 0.2 percent lower than in October 2017, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Thursday.

The dairy CPI hasn’t been above 218 all year, and hasn’t been above 220 since February of 2017. During the first 10 months of 2018, the dairy CPI ranged from a high of 217.897 in January to a low of 215.622 in July.

The overall CPI for all items was 252.885 in October, up 0.2 percent from September and 2.5 percent higher than in October 2017. October’s CPI for food at home was 239.882, down 0.1 percent from September but up 0.1 percent from October 2017.

October’s CPI for cheese and related products was 228.261, down 0.4 percent from September and 1 percent lower than in October 2017.

That was the lowest level for the cheese CPI since September of 2017, when it was 228.232. Since then, it has topped 230 four times, most recently in June, when it reached 230.961.

The average retail price for a pound of natural Cheddar cheese in October was $5.16, up three cents from September and 13 cents higher than in October 2017. The retail Cheddar price has now averaged above $5.00 per pound for 10 consecutive months.

Average retail Cheddar cheese prices by region in October were as follows: Northeast, $5.78 per pound; Midwest, $5.40 per pound; South, $5.34 per pound; and West, $4.71 per pound.

The average retail price for a pound of American processed cheese in October was $3.99, down five cents from September and down almost 10 cents from October 2017.

Retail Whole Milk Price Rises
October’s CPI for whole milk was 197.351, up 1 percent from September and 0.2 percent higher than in October 2017. That’s the highest level for the whole milk CPI since January, when it was 197.963. The whole milk CPI hasn’t been above 200 since July 2017.

October’s CPI for “milk” was 137.909 (December 1997=100), up 0.7 percent from September but down 0.4 percent from October 2017. October’s CPI for milk other than whole was 142.402, up 1 percent from September but down 0.3 percent from October 2017.

The average retail price for a gallon of whole milk in October was $2.913, up more than two cents from September but down almost 25 cents from October 2017.
Whole milk prices have now averaged under $3.00 per gallon for 10 straight months.

Average retail whole milk prices by region in October were: Northeast, $3.35 per gallon; Midwest, $2.02 per gallon; South, $3.17 per gallon; and West, $3.00 per gallon.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 33rd annual survey of classic items found on a Thanksgiving Day dinner table found that the average price for a gallon of whole milk this year is $2.92, down seven cents from last year.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Thanksgiving survey found that the cost of a gallon of milk this year is $2.69 per gallon, down 52 cent from a year ago.

October’s CPI for butter was 246.214, down 0.8 percent from September but 0.6 percent higher than in October 2017.

The butter CPI has now been above 240 for seven consecutive months.
October’s CPI for ice cream and related products was 222.092, up 0.5 percent from September and 1.5 percent higher than in October 2017.

The average retail price for a half-gallon of regular ice cream in October was $4.864, up 11 cents from September and up more than 18 cents from October 2017.

October’s CPI for other dairy and related products was 146.815 (December 1997=100), down 0.3 percent from September but up 0.2 percent from October 2017.