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Dairy Farmers Left Short-Changed as Farmgate Prices Lag Behind

05 October 2016

UK - Market indicators show dairy farmers are being short-changed to the tune of £200 million pounds, the National Farmers Union (NFU) said today.

After two years of turmoil in the dairy sector, during which time milk prices for many farmers have been, and continue to be, below the cost of production, commodity markets have now quickly turned. Evidence shows market signals are pointing skywards with spot prices for milk now approaching 40 pence per litre (ppl) and quotes for next month hitting 50ppl.

But speaking on the eve of The Dairy Show on Wednesday 5 October, NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said that milk buyers are lagging behind in passing on the huge lifts in market prices to their suppliers.

“Since May this year market indicators have started to show a massive differential between what prices dairy farmers should have got compared to what they actually did get – between June and September this adds up to around £200 million,” said Mr Oakes.

Dairy analyst Chris Walkland has being doing the sums – they show that back in August AHDB’s AMPE and MCVE indicators were 26ppl and 28ppl respectively while future price indicators continue to be positive. Even today most non-aligned prices are still at or below 20ppl with the August Defra average milk price, which included aligned prices only reaching 21.34ppl.

“Clearly milk buyers should be concerned as to where their future milk supply will come from,” said Mr Oakes. “That’s why recently we’ve seen Dale Farm Northern Ireland encourage more milk supply for the next three months.

“Farmers have been patient, understanding the time lag that is part of dairy trade. But that reason is starting to wear thin, as we need to start considering increased costs of winter housing and feeding.

"Our message is clear – until milk buyers start backing British dairy farmers and start paying fair, sustainable milk prices, volumes will not recover."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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