Market report: DEFRA figures reflect milk price fall

Average farmgate milk prices in the UK fell by 0.51p/litre (2.1%) between January and February, according to latest figures from DEFRA.

That put February prices at 24.16p/litre – 0.52p/litre below the same time a year ago.

GB values fell by 0.23p/litre month-on-month, to 24.32p/litre, and by 1.45p/litre (5.6%) over the year.

Northern Ireland’s prices dropped by 2.28p/litre (9%) on the month, to 23.15p/litre, but were still some 5.04p/litre (27.8%) higher than in February 2008, said DairyCo’s Datum report.

However, commodity prices are on the rise, and Northern Ireland’s latest United Dairy Farmers auction saw 45m litres of milk average 25.63p/litre for April delivery – 2.31p/litre higher than in March and 6.8p/litre above a year ago. “The auction produced yet another record-breaking result with the highest March price in the past 10 years, by a substantial margin,” said the report.

World wholesale prices are also improving, with Fonterra’s latest auction seeing price rises of at least 21% between March and April, and whole milk powder reaching the highest level since July 2008.

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