Muller has frozen its milk price for the first month this year, amid a flurry of cuts from rival processors.
About 1,200 farmers in the Muller Milk Group will in July be paid 18.66p/litre for a standard litre, while the 650 members of the Direct Milk producer organisation will receive 18p/litre.
Producers will get slightly more on their cheques from the retail supplement, linked to sales at Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons. The latest bonus has not been confirmed, but totalled 2.45p/litre for April.
Muller’s prices will be 5p/litre lower than they were in the same month last year.
Direct Milk secretary Michael Masters said in his newsletter to members that milk production UK wholesale dairy ingredient markets had improved over May. The respite for July’s prices was welcome, he said.
“After what has been a period of over two years of unrelenting dairy market downward pressure, that these improvements have been recorded for May, which is traditionally the seasonal peak for milk production, must be welcomed,” Mr Masters said.
“For any recovery in dairy markets to stimulate the long-awaited and much-needed improvement in milk price required, how the EU manages the eventual dispersal of [its] large intervention dairy stocks will be crucial.”
Muller’s price freeze comes on the same day (31 May) as cuts from Dairy Crest and First Milk.
Last week Arla announced it would drop its price from 1 June by 1p/litre, taking the on account rate to 19.12p/litre.