UK farmgate milk prices increased by 0.95p/litre in September, to a record high of 32.95p/litre. The RPA said that was 5.33p/litre more than the same time last year, and 2.96p above the low reached in May.

The average butterfat content was 4%, slightly below last year’s 4.1%; with protein content up from 3.29% to 3.33%.

However, average global dairy commodity prices fell slightly for the second consecutive fortnight at Fonterra’s latest sale. The weighted average dropped by 1.8%, to US $4,797/t (£2,998/t) – $183 (£114) below the peak reached on 1 October, but still $1,410/t (£881/t) higher than at the same time last year.

Butter led the decline, losing an average of 7% across all contract periods from December 2013 to May 2014, to $3,529/t (£2,206/t). Whole milk powder dropped by 3.7%, to $4,891 (£3,057/t), while skimmed milk powder firmed by 0.5%, to $4,559/t (£2,849/t). Cheddar values increased by 1.2%, to average $4,380/t (£2,738/t).

DairyCo’s latest price table showed 12 price rises for September, shooting Arla Milk Link near the top of the league, behind Dairy Crest M&S and United Dairy Farmers (not shown on the condensed table).