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CALIFORNIA | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

Retail Milk Prices Expected to Increase

July 29, 1999|Melinda Fulmer

Consumers in California can expect to pay a little more for milk beginning next week when the state raises the wholesale price of milk by 4 cents a gallon. Although the state does not regulate retail prices, a jump in the price paid to farmers typically translates to a similar or slightly larger increase in supermarket dairy prices, state officials say. Californians got a break in April, when wholesale prices plunged 50 cents a gallon to an average of $1.22 in response to an increase in the supply of dairy products. But as demand for butter and cheese has swelled, wholesale prices have inched upward. In August and September, farmers will receive an average of $1.28 a gallon for their milk, according to state Department of Food and Agriculture officials. The state adjusts the minimum price for milk every two months using a formula based on commodity trading.

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