UK wholesale prices

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Updated 23 December 2019

Indicative average prices for UK dairy wholesale markets, including bulk cream, butter, skimmed milk powder (SMP) and mild Cheddar cheese.


  • The pre-Christmas boost to cream prices that was evident through much of November fell away rapidly in December. As a result, prices generally fell throughout the month. Although a price drop just before Christmas is usual, a few reporters did note that prices fell further than expected, or started falling sooner than expected. As a result, we recorded the widest range of prices for more than 18 months, with high prices at the start of the month and lower prices towards the end.
  • The butter market, on the other hand, was relatively quiet. Currency had an effect on prices as the pound rose in value in the first half of the month, though dropped back again at the start of the second half of the month.
  • SMP prices, which have been climbing steadily for some time, flattened off this month. Sterling movements had some influence on prices.
  • Although there were some mentions of market movements, the overall average for mild cheddar remains steady.

Additional information

Prices have been compiled by talking to dairy product sellers, traders and buyers. Panel discussions on market conditions and prices covered trades agreed for the period 1 to 20 December.  Prices reported are indicative of values achieved over the reporting period for spot trade (excludes contracted prices). The published prices will not necessarily match the actual price received by a milk processor as this will depend, amongst other things, on the proportion of product that is sold on the spot market and the proportion sold under longer term contracts and at what price this is done. The “average” prices should be used to track trends while the commentary will contain prices seen through the month.

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UK wholesale prices