UK wholesale prices

Updated 28 October 2019

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

Overview

  • October wholesale markets were quieter than in September. Currency was one of the main drivers of price movement this month, particularly for butter. A jump in the strength of the pound mid-month meant product traded on euro terms was worth less once converted.
  • Cream prices had some ups and downs earlier in month, becoming steadier towards the end, and overall had less swing than in September. The monthly average is down on the month, partly from currency effects.
  • Butter markets were quiet in October with little spot trading; reports suggest there is a disparity in the prices people are willing to buy and sell at. Prices were steady to slightly weaker, with currency changes adding emphasis to the declines.
  • SMP continues to climb steadily, though this may have tapered off towards the end of the month. The monthly average has gone above £2,000/tonne for the first time in five years.
  • The mild Cheddar price remains unchanged. Although some mentioned a hint of firming, the majority reported no change in price.

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 28 October.  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