UK Wholesale Prices

Published 26 April 19

Market views taken for trade occurring between 1 to 25 April. Prices reported are indicative of values achieved over the reporting period for spot trade (excludes contracted prices).

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 through the month.

All prices quoted are in £/tonne.

There are several factors at play in April to ultimately dampen movements in the wholesale markets. Early 2019 production was slightly down on the year for some key players on the mainland, but Europe is now heading into the flush and supplies are increasing. The extension of the Brexit deadline to October has given some short-term certainty to buyers, but many had already stocked up in preparation for a timely exit.

Cream prices had another mixed month, with prices dipping in the middle of the month then recovering. This is not unexpected around Easter, as there is often a dip in demand just before the holiday itself as requirements are already filled in advance. Overall the ups and downs of April almost balanced out, leaving the average cream price down just £10 per tonne on the month.

The cheddar market is generally quiet, with not much being traded. Prices reported are a mix of up, down and steady on the previous month, with the overall effect being a marginal easing from March to April. 

Butter firmed through the month for some, but started April low after March’s easing; the overall price was down on the month.

Some have reported an increase in buying interest for SMP, but this is yet to translate into meaningful movements. More reported slightly lower prices than slightly higher, leaving the April price down £20 on 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 25 April. 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.