Market report: Milk prices still lagging year-ago levels

Average UK milk prices fell by 0.7% between November and December, to 24.70p/litre, according to latest data from DEFRA.

However, this drop followed an upward revision of the November price, from a provisional 24.49p/litre to 24.88p/litre. It means average farmgate prices in December were 1.67p/litre below December 2008, and brings the annual average price in 2009 to 23.71p/litre, 8.5% lower the previous year.

“For the second month in a row, the average GB price was below the Northern Ireland price, which stood at 24.55p/litre and 25.75p/litre, respectively,” said DairyCo’s Datum report. In GB, the price fell by 0.21p/litre from November, while NI prices increased by 0.07p/litre, due to improved returns from commodity markets.

UK milk production was almost the same in January as in December, at 1.047m litres, following severe weather disruption of collection tankers. Cumulatively, deliveries in the first 10 months of the milk year were 28m litres below the same period last year, which was the lowest producing year on record. National butterfat content in January was 4.10%, with protein at 3.32%.