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TheDairySite Newsletter - 06 February 2015

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Friday 6th February 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

UK Farmers Fume at Milk Price Cuts

UK dairy farmers were up in arms this week after Muller Wiseman announced a cut in its milk prices in March, following on from Dairy Crest’s price cut earlier in the week.

Muller Wiseman is cutting its price to farmers by 1.75 pence per litre to 24.15 ppl.

At the weekend Dairy Crest announced that it would be cutting it prices from 1 March by 1.5 ppl to 23.09 for liquid milk contracts and 25.09 for farmers on Davidstow contracts.

First Milk has already announced a cut in its prices from March to 21.57 ppl for its manufacturing suppliers and 21.20 for its liquid milk suppliers.

Arla has still to announce its March prices but at present they stand at 24.82 ppl for its standard suppliers.

According to the most recent DEFRA figures, the average UK farmgate price stood at 27.85ppl in December. This was a 0.96ppl (3.3 per cent) decrease on the November average price. The December 2014 price was 6.40ppl (18.7 per cent) lower than the same month last year.

The GB average price was 28.73ppl in December, which was a 0.91ppl (3.1 per cent) decrease on the previous month. This was a decrease of 5.51ppl (16.1 per cent) compared with December 2013.

The Northern Ireland average for December was 22.79ppl, a decrease of 1.12ppl (4.7 per cent) compared with November. The December price is 11.56ppl (33.7 per cent) lower than the previous year.

The November EU weighted average milk price stood at €34.32/100kg (27.92ppl), down €0.93/100kg (2.6 per cent) on the previous month. Compared with the previous year, the weighted average EU price for November was down €5.89/100kg (14.6 per cent), this was a decrease on the year of 6.80ppl.

The latest price cut has been branded as “unacceptable” by farmers’ leaders.

Dairy farmer and NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “We have seen the farm gate price dropping rapidly over the past nine months which has put many UK dairy farmers in incredibly difficult positions, with many considering their future in the industry.

“The fact that Muller has said the March price remains to be ‘one of the best available’ depicts a dire situation for the dairy sector.”

The announcement that Dairy Crest was cutting its prices came shortly after the supermarket chain Morrisons had cut the amount of milk it was to take from the dairy.

Mr Harrison said: “Retailers must seriously consider how their decisions impact on British dairy farmers in the short and longer term.”

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