A man works in a cheddar store© Juice/REX/Shutterstock

The world’s oldest cheddar cheesemaker, Barber’s, has held its milk price for May – the processor’s busiest production month of the year.

The hold means the milk buyer’s 150 producers will continue receive 28.27p/litre for milk with constituent contents of 4.2% butterfat, 3.4% protein.

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UK dairy wholesale markets held firm in March, with butter, skim-milk powder (SMP) and mild cheddar all remaining virtually unchanged on the month as both buyers and sellers were reluctant to commit to long-term deals over price and production concerns.

Cream prices saw the only significant movements, hitting highs of between £2,000/t and £2,100/t before prices fell back to £1,850/t by the end of the month, an increase of 4% on the month.

“2018 has delivered disappointing and widespread price reductions, with some processors through the January-April period reducing prices by between 4-5p/litre,” a spokesman said.

“In context, our pricing reduced by later, and by less than others, our first reduction in March, and the combined -2.25p/litre across two months.

“We will continue to keep our pricing under review and hope that, as a consequence of the very late spring and steady UK/EU milk volumes, dairy markets will stabilise,” the spokesman said.

April milk price movers

Liquid litres (4% butterfat, 3.3% protein)

  • First milk ⬇ 0.84p-1.4p to 26p/litre
  • Dairy Crest ⬇ 1.25p to 27.92p/litre
  • Yew Tree ⬇ 1.5p to 26.5p/litre
  • FrieslandCampina ⬇ 1.073p to 29.288p/litre

Manufacturing litres (4.2% butterfat, 3.4% protein)

  • Arla ⬆ 0.32p to 27.43p/litre
  • Lactalis ⬇ 3.12p to 26.91p/litre
  • Wyke ⬇ 1.04p to 28.62p/litre