Milk Price Review Milk Marque way behind

By Robert Harris

THIS months milk price review shows Milk Marque was the only company paying producers less than 19ppl in September.

Indeed, its daily collection value of 17.57ppl was significantly lower than other companies, says Wye Colleges Stephen Bates (see table, below).

Although the co-ops new trading bonus, announced after the August selling round, will make no difference to these prices, it will boost milk cheques for October deliveries onwards. “This should help bring Milk Marque back into the frame,” says Mr Bates.

But he points out that even if the bonus adds 0.3ppl, it will not make much difference to the average price achieved for the milk year to date.

A weaker Pound could help MM achieve at least that amount. Much of the milk sold in the August selling round was on index-linked contracts, which rise in value as sterling falls.

The co-op also re-offered some of the 2.3 million litres of milk left unsold, increasing clearance for the round from 83% to 90% and boosting the number of index-linked agreements.

Most mainland manufacturers are also complaining that milk supplies are very tight, thought to be due to MM shipping milk abroad for contract processing. Independent consultant Mike Bessey reckons that spot prices now top 24ppl in England and Wales.

This will help MM achieve better prices for the 2 million litres of milk a day still sold on short-term markets.

However, MM points out that much of this milk is sold through sealed bids, which would not achieve that sort of price. But, as an MM spokesman put it, any increase is welcome.

Despite depressed milk prices, quota leasing values have risen sharply again as too many farmers continue to chase meagre supplies.

October 1998 for September deliveries (updated monthly)

adj (ppl)
litre (ppl)
Av price
Southern Co-op1110.7810.272.0023.1621.91
Nestlé England (Dalston)248.7811.503.0022.5719.91
Unigate – EODC324.105.042.0022.5121.51
Wiseman Scotland4111.360.282.0021.7419.41
South Caernarvon5128.1211.172.5021.6619.36
Nestlé Scotland7138.7811.502.0021.5719.35
AW Foods (Avonmore)880.030.033.0021.5420.38
Midlands Co-op9140.000.000.0021.1821.29
Wiseman England1090.900.101.0021.1020.10
AW Foods (Lockerbie)11167.4211.252.0020.7518.72
Golden Vale1238.8810.00P0.5020.6920.44
Lancashire Dairies13170.000.000.0020.6920.65
Scottish Milk14187.8310.732.0020.5018.17
Express Dairies1557.2711.13P0.5020.5020.12
Aberdeen Milk16210.600.250.0020.4418.49
MD Foods (Premier)17208.203.25P0.0020.0020.00
ACC (Stockton)18107.399.910.4019.9919.84
AW Foods Waterford (“PSL” contract)19220.000.090.0019.7820.18
The Milk Group2068.8210.620.0019.7419.74
Wyke Farms21157.4610.110.4019.0118.61
Milk Marque – EODC22197.7110.340.4018.3218.07
Milk Marque23237.7110.340.4017.8217.57

Wye College

University of London

  • All prices are before 0.04ppl Milk Development Council levy

  • Price per standard litre is after transport and marketing charges, assuming daily collection of milk, 4.1% butterfat, 3.25% protein, 1101 litres/day, TBC below 20,000 and cell count below 250,000

  • For AW Foods Scotland (Lockerbie), AW Foods (Avonmore) and MD Foods, figures include minimum group bonus paid to over 95% of farmers

  • For Unigate – EODC, the price includes “6 keys”; top “general compliance” score; top “farm inspection” score; 0.3ppl group bonus; “sovereign supplier” bonus; group term bonus; and milk collected every other day

  • For South Caernarvon, the price includes a 0.3ppl bonus for compliance with Freedom Foods five freedoms

    P=payment for protein capped (at 3.3% for MD and Express, 3.35% for Golden Vale)

  • Milk price review, updated monthly

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