UK Wholesale Prices

Published 27 September 18

Market views taken for trade occurring between 1 to 27 September. 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.

September has seen a marked shift in sentiment on dairy markets, and as a result, traded prices have come under pressure. Concerns over the impact of the dry hot summer have not been realised, and the good flow of milk, both in the UK and the continent, has taken away any urgency over securing product supplies.

Prices for fresh products have seen the most immediate impacts, with both cream and butter dropping steadily through the month. Skim milk powder and mild cheddar prices held relatively firm through the month.

Cream prices were starting to come under pressure at the end of August on the back of plentiful supplies. The high prices made it uneconomic for use as butter, and prices fell week on week, reaching as low as £1,950/tonne by the last week of trading.

The impact of cream has been mirrored in butter prices. Trade was reported as quiet as most buyers are well covered into the end of the year and are delaying buying for anything but immediate needs in anticipation of further price reductions.

SMP prices rose slightly between August and September, mostly on the back of currency movements. Demand for fresh product remains stable supported by prices which are still below intervention levels.

Trade on the mild cheddar market was slow in September, and prices remained firm through most of the month. The declining values for cream and butter are reported to be flowing through to cheese markets however, with some sellers seeing some downward pressure on pricing at the end of the month.

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 September. 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.