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Weekly dairy market update (20-24 April)

Monday, 27 April 2020

By Patty Clayton

Markets were less volatile this week, with spot milk and bulk cream prices firming slightly while butter and skim milk powder prices continued to fall. 

It was reported that, while there were ample supplies of bulk cream, prices firmed slightly from last week as orders were more in line with supplies. Quotes were in the range of £0.90/kg to just over £1.00/kg. Spot milk prices also firmed this week. This was put down to less ‘unsold’ milk on the markets, as many suppliers of spot milk were said to have pre-sold supplies.

There is significant variation in how farmers are managing milk production through the flush, depending on who they sell their milk to, making it difficult to predict volumes week on week. Adding to this are the erratic buying patterns of consumers at the retail level, keeping retail sales forecasting difficult.

Trade for bulk butter was described as very thin, and prices very difficult to peg given the lack of activity.  Quotes remained in the region of £2,300/tonne. Skim milk powder (SMP) prices fell again on last week, as sales remain weak.  European prices saw a slight uplift, but movements in Sterling-Euro exchange rate pushed UK prices down. Current quotes are in the region of £1,650/tonne to £1,700/tonne, remaining above the equivalent intervention level at current exchange rates (£1,500/tonne).

Patty Clayton

Lead Analyst - Dairy

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