Market report: Farmgate milk prices start to move – at last

Farmgate milk prices are finally starting to show some improvement, and with commodity markets remaining firm, further price rises should be on the way.

DairyCo Datum’s milk league table for December shows few changes, but Milk Link’s announcement last month that it would boost prices from February has sparked a plethora of other increases.

“After three months of standstill, milk price changes have been coming thick and fast lately,” said the Datum report. “Even some non-aligned liquid contracts will see price rises after more than two years of minimal movements.”

Although most cheesemakers had followed Milk Link, Joseph Heler, Wensleydale, and the Milk Link Llandyrnog contracts had yet to improve. And while Dairy Crest and Wiseman had increased non-aligned contracts by 1p/litre from March, they would still lag behind a number of cheese contracts. Arla had not announced any increase.

“These milk price rises will only cover part of (farmers’) increased costs,” said the report. “With commodity markets extremely buoyant at the moment, more price rises could occur soon.”