Hopes fade for milk price rise

By Olivia Cooper

HOPES of a rise in milk price are fading, despite latest figures showing that milk production continues to fall behind quota.

The Intervention Board puts September production at just over 1 billion litres, 75m cumulative litres ahead of last year.

Consultant Charles Holt calculates September production to be 31m butterfat-adjusted litres below profile, bringing the cumulative deficit to 156m litres for the year.

“This is much as expected – although individual cows are milking extremely well, foot-and-mouth has taken a lot of cows out of production.”

Martin Young of co-op Milk Link says that international product prices have fallen, and supermarkets are “not forthcoming” on liquid milk values.

Three of the largest dairies, Express, Dairy Crest and Wiseman, say they have no plans to change milk prices this month. But The Milk Group, rumoured to be cutting prices declined to elaborate further.

Quota agent Ian Potter thinks October and November will be the important months in deciding the annual total.

“Farmers should applaud any company that can hold milk prices, let alone increase them. That would be a remarkable achievement in the current conditions.”

Sales of quota have risen to 17.5ppl for 4% butterfat, while leasing markets have slumped to about 0.6ppl.


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