First Milk slashes milk price sixth time in six months

Dairy co-op First Milk has dropped its milk prices for the sixth time in six months.

It has cut its manufacturing price by 0.3p/litre and liquid contract by 1p/litre for November, after taking off 3p/litre a month earlier.

The liquid price now stands at 24.1p/litre – 8.4p/litre lower than in May – and the cheese contract sits at 25.8p/litre – down 6.7p/litre.

All of the top four UK dairy companies and most smaller processors have now issued heavy cuts in the past seven days, which have taken many prices below farmers’ cost of production .

Another sharp drop on the Global Dairy Trade auction on Wednesday (1 October) buried hopes of some recovery in world commodity prices.

First Milk chairman Sir Jim Paice MP said British milk production showed no sign of slowing down and the co-op’s main processing sites were running at full capacity.

He said most of the extra milk was going into the driers at Westbury, where returns were equivalent to less than 20p/litre.

“As well as maintaining our focus on doing whatever we can within our influence to mitigate the effect of these negative market conditions, we will continue to keep our milk prices in line with our projected market returns,” Mr Paice said.