First Milk holds milk price but market is under pressure

First Milk will hold its milk price for January despite downward pressure in the market.

Milk prices at the co-operative, 100% owned by its farming members, have remained unchanged since November. Prices are as follows:

  • Haverfordwest pool: 30.57p/litre
  • Lake District pool: 30.45p/litre
  • Midlands and East Wales pool: 29.40p/litre
  • Scotland pool: 29.09p/litre

The hold will come as a relief to suppliers, following price fall announcements from Meadow Foods and Muller for January. 

Meadow Foods producers will see their milk price drop by 1.25p/litre from 1 January, taking its standard A milk price to 29.75p/litre. Muller is to cut its milk price by 1.5p/litre to 29p/litre.

See also: Model dairy farm: Prospects for 2018

First Milk is feeling the pressure though as milk volumes continue to rise. Jim Baird, farmer director and vice-chairman at the co-op, said: “Dairy markets have weakened recently and so the outlook for the UK market continues to worsen.

“Whilst we cannot buck the markets, we will continue to work hard to reduce the impact of milk price reductions for our members as much as possible.

“We will do this through our focus on efficiency and quality, and by building on our strong, long-term relationships to deliver competitive returns to our members.”

Global outlook

Global milk production is set to rise by 1.5% in 2018, but continuing strong demand for fats should protect prices from major falls, according to the AHDB.

Figures published by the AHDB forecast global supplies to hit 289bn litres in 2018. Strong production levels in the EU-28 have been driven by yield gains and rising milk prices and are expected to result in an increase of 1.4% in 2018.

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