|Tick Size||0.001 per pound ($20.00 per contract)|
|Daily Limit||7.5 cents per pound ( per contract) expanded limit 15 cents|
|Contract Size||20,000 pounds|
|Trading Hours||5:00p.m. - 4:00p.m. Sun-Thur, 5:00p.m. - 1:55p.m. Fri CST|
|Value of One Futures Unit||$20,000|
|Value of One Options Unit||$20,000|
|Last Trading Day||Business day prior to USDA monthly weighted average price in the U.S. for cheese|
Since prehistoric times, humans have been making and eating cheese. Dating back as far as 6,000 BC, archaeologists have discovered that cheese had been made from cow and goat milk and stored in tall jars. The Romans turned cheese-making into culinary art, mixing sheep and goat milk and adding herbs and spices for flavoring. By 300 AD, cheese was being exported regularly to countries along the Mediterranean coast.
Cheese is made from the milk of cows and other mammals such as sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels, yaks, and mares. More than 400 varieties of cheese exist. There are three basic steps common to all cheese making. First, proteins in milk are transformed into curds, or solid lumps. Second, the curds are separated from the milky liquid (or whey) and shaped or pressed into molds. Finally, the shaped curds are ripened using a variety of aging and curing techniques. Cheeses are usually grouped according to their moisture content into fresh, soft, semi-soft, hard, and very hard. Many classifications overlap due to texture changes with aging.
Cheese is a multi-billion-dollar a year industry in the U.S. Cheddar cheese is the most common natural cheese produced in the U.S., accounting for 35% of U.S. production. Cheeses originating in America include Colby, cream cheese, and Monterey Jack. Varieties other than American cheeses, mostly Italian, now have had a combined level of production that easily exceeds American cheeses.
Prices - The average monthly price of American Cheese at the CME Group in 2021 fell -15.7% yr/yr to $1.7309 per pound, well below the 2014 record high of $2.1094 cents per pound.
Supply - World production of cheese in 2022 is expected to rise +1.0% yr/yr to 22.079 million metric tons, which would be a new record high. The European Union is expected to be the world's largest producer of cheese, with 47.1% of the total world production in 2022. U.S. production was the next largest with 28.5% of the total. U.S. production of all cheese in 2020 rose +0.6% to 13.191 billion pounds, which was a new record high.
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