31 May 1996

May milk cheques bring price rises

WITH most dairy companies now dovetailing their marketing years with the Brussels milk year, many new season changes appear for the first time in this months Milk Price Review.

In general, buyers have taken the opportunity to raise prices, both on flat rate and constituent contracts.

Looking at some of the specifics, Lord Rayleigh and Lancashire Dairies have increased their base prices from 25.75p and 25.9p to 26p/litre. The former has also dropped its £8-a-go collection charge.

Midlands Co-op has also switched to a flat rate contract at 25p/litre. With a price bonus of 0.5p and cell count premium of 0.25p, this takes our standard litre to 25.75p/litre. Waterford has increased its base price to 25.7p and added a 0.15p bonus for TBC counts below 10,000.

Of the constituent payers, Nestlé has reduced its butterfat payment, but increased protein from 4.35p to 4.595p a per cent. The Cheese Company and The Milk Group have raised both constituent values, butterfat to 2.655p and 2.854p respectively, and protein to 4.486p and 4.333p. They have also tightened their quality criteria.

Milk Marque has introduced new transport charges this month, with a tanker stop of £4.50 and a volume charge of 0.2p/litre. It is also basing payments of bactospan results (instead of TBC).

All these changes have served to widen the gap between the top and bottom of the table. But Milk Marque, together with most other constituent-based payers, is making a 2p/litre seasonality deduction this month.