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Cheese prices, key market indicators for the entire dairy industry, rose rapidly in the seventies because of rising demand for cheese. Cheese prices nationwide follow those on the National Cheese Exchange, which itself handles less than 1 percent of total U.S. cheese production. Retailers usually give cheese the highest profit margin of all dairy products; since 1973, retail cheese prices have risen more rapidly than wholesale prices. Dairy farmers receive about 48 cents for the milk used in $1 worth of cheese at the retail level; processing, packaging, and marketing take the other 52 cents.


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