First Milk holds milk price to stay in line with the pack

The largest UK farmer-owned co-op has held its December milk price, keeping itself in line with the majority of other dairy processors.

The milk buyer will continue to pay 28.5p/litre for liquid litres with a constituent content of 4% butterfat and 3.3% protein.  

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For ease of comparison, this will equate to a manufacturing price of 29.47p/litre for litres with a constituent content of 4.2% butterfat 3.4% protein.

The hold means First Milk’s 900 producers will receive 0.9p/litre less at the end of 2018 than they did at the start of the year.

First Milk has now maintained the same farmgate price since September 2018, and it said its underlying business performance continued to be delivered on schedule, despite a difficult commodities market.

“The dairy commodity markets have weakened significantly in recent weeks and this puts pressure on milk prices,” said First Milk vice-chairman and farmer-director Jim Baird.

Mr Baird added that although First Milk was not immune to lower commodity prices, a strong business performance had allowed the processor to hold prices for December.

Outlook 2019

“Looking into 2019, we have a clear growth strategy and we are confident that together, we can deliver dairy prosperity,” he said.

The processor also indicated that it would be looking to collect more milk from producers in order to deliver increased returns.

Last month, First Milk announced it would introduce a 13th payment to members from next year, alongside increased transparency in share trading and the freezing of capital contribution targets.