Dairy markets hit a wall as Arla holds April milk price

The wind has been taken out of the sails for dairy markets as a flurry of price rises comes to a halt.

Arla has announced it will hold its milk price into April at 40.06p/litre for a standard manufacturing litre of 4.2% butterfat and 3.4% protein.

However, after taking in its quarterly currency adjustments, conventional producers will receive a negligible 0.04p/litre cut, taking the price to 40.02p/litre.

See also: Farmgate milk prices return above 40p/litre as demand firms

Organic producers supplying Arla will receive an uplift of 1.34p/litre in April to 48.68p/litre. Arthur Fearnall, Arla Foods amba board director and farmer, said: “Global milk supplies are slightly lower ahead of the expected spring flush. Retail sales continue to pick up and commodity markets are stable. 

“In the UK, the organic milk price increase is driven by growing demand. Overall, the outlook is stable.”

Other milk processors were yet to announce their prices as Farmers Weekly went to press midweek.

UK daily milk deliveries have been making incremental gains throughout March in the build-up to the spring flush, but remain roughly in line with year-earlier levels.

The latest industry forecasts anticipate milk production for the 2023-24 milk year to be down by 0.6%, with a further 0.8% fall forecast for the 2024-25 milk year.


UK wholesale markets have been mixed in March, with bulk cream prices up, butter values flat, and both mild cheddar and skimmed milk powder down on the previous month.

Both milk market indicators, the actual milk price equivalent (Ampe) and milk for cheese value equivalent (MCVE), fell during March. Ampe dropped 3% to 36.6p/litre, while MCVE fell 1% to 36.3p/litre.

Values also dropped back at the two most recent Global Dairy Trade events, with the price index standing at US$3,497 on 19 March.