COMMODITIES: April Foolishness

On April 1, federal-support prices on dairy products dropped from 90% of parity to 75%. In the end-of-March rush to take advantage of the higher supports, farmers and food processors unloaded record tonnages of butter, cheese and dried milk on the Agriculture Department. Last week the Department finished adding up the huge purchases for the month: 87 million lbs. of butter, 132 million lbs. of dried milk, 189 million lbs. of cheese. Cost: $156 million.

Some of the sellers turned right around after April 1 and bought the same commodities back from...

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