UK Wholesale Prices

Published 27 July 18

Market views taken for trade occurring between 1 to 27 July. Prices reported are indicative of values achieved over the reporting period for spot trade (excludes contracted prices).

As ever, the following prices represent an indicative average of UK wholesale markets. The “average” prices should be used to track trends while the commentary will contain prices seen at the end of the month.

All prices quoted are in £/tonne.

July has been a quiet month for wholesale trading, as the holiday season kicked off. Buyers were seemingly not drawn back into the market despite production falling towards the seasonal trough and concerns over the increasing dry, hot weather. Then again, GB milk production was not seeing the effects of these conditions at the time. Ireland is in a similar situation to the UK, as a number of farmers are making their way through this years’ first cut of silage wondering when the rain will come, how quickly fields can recover and if there will be enough winter feed. On the continent, the situation does not appear to be as dire, although this situation may change over the coming weeks, depending on any rain relief.

Cream remained contentious with prices ranging between £2,050 and £2,300 across July, and quoted averages ranging between £2,120 and £2,220. The usual bump up in demand due to fresh fruit season was not really seen, leaving some sellers actively looking for buyers, but maybe not finding much success. What is clear though is the disconnect with butter, leaving cream to be trading below the butter equivalent. This appeared to be due to more availability of cream with producers not as keen to make butter this month.

Butter trade was extremely thin through July, with prices ranging between £4,800 and £5,000. There appears to have been some stock built up over the past month or so, although buyers were thin on the ground.

SMP has not seen too much change but some weakening did occur in July. Partly due to lack of demand but also increased fresh availability.

Cheddar seems to be one of the only markets with a bit of positivity surrounding it at present. Stocks do not appear to be ample and, despite being relatively quiet on the trading front like the other markets, prices held firm.

UK Wholesale Table

UK Wholesale Graph


Notes: 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 27 July. 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.