Slip in Dairy Crest formula price slows

The slide in Dairy Crest’s monthly milk price has slowed for the start of 2015.

Farmers with milk priced on the cost- and commodity-tracker will be paid 29.287p/litre – 0.306p/less than a month before.

But the formula will pay 3.4p/litre more in January than Dairy Crest’s standard liquid contract, which was cut again in the last fortnight.

Bulk cream values rose £20/t in November ahead of Christmas demand, while the retail price for four pints of milk stayed flat at 113p.

On the costs side, ammonium nitrate fertiliser remained level at £264.50/t , while concentrate and red diesel prices dropped slightly.

Michael Masters, secretary of suppliers’ group Dairy Crest Direct, warned analysts to expect bulk cream values to fall in January.

“Stronger cream demand in the preparation for the Christmas market continues into December, although is expected to reduce later this month as these demands are satisfied,” he said.

More than half of Dairy Crest’s 400 liquid producers have some milk priced by the formula.

The plc’s £80m sale of its liquid milk business to rival Muller Wiseman has put the future of Dairy Crest Direct and its pioneering formula into question.