Milk price figures show shift in markets

Average UK farmgate milk prices increased by 0.53p/litre in the month to November 2010, to 26.16p/litre, according to latest DEFRA figures. That was 1.29p/litre, or 5.2%, more than in November 2009.

But British prices rose less than Northern Ireland values, due to their lower exposure to strong commodity markets. The British average only increased by 0.35p/litre on the month, to 25.94p/litre – 4.8% up on the year, while Northern Ireland markets rose by 1.79p/litre, to 27.66p/litre – 7.7% higher than in 2009.

DairyCo‘s November milk price league table showed few changes, but annual comparisons revealed a clear shift in the market. “While liquid milk contracts have remained nearly static, most cheese and manufacturing contracts have moved up the league table,” said a DairyCo Datum report.

“Some cheese processors have raised their price by around 3p/litre, which resulted in a narrowing of the gap between the top and the bottom of the league table: 4.5p/litre this year compared to 8.3p/litre last year. Manufacturers of branded cheese are even paying a higher price than the liquid milk processors.”