DairyCo is reporting that UK milk production has been easing as we approach the end of the year, although towards the fairly high levels seen in the previous year.
Products are generally following EU/global trends with pressure still on the markets.
As per the norm, Christmas demand was strong for the first part of December but this fell in the second part of the month with most/all deals being completed leaving prices to end 2014 back under pressure.
The cream market followed the traditional pattern of active trade over the first week or so followed by limited availability before trade returns for last minute Christmas deals.
However, usually the last minute Christmas deals involve limited product but with milk production doing so well this year there has been lots of cream available for trade.
Prices started the month at highs of around £1,200/tonne before falling quite sharply to less than £1,000/tonne for the last week or so of December.
Butter prices were firm for the start of the month before falling in the latter stages.
The market has been hard to read with prices quoted in a range of around £200/tonne.
However, the consensus is that trade appears to have been weighted more to the first half of the month, shifting the ‘average’ price closer to November.
Trade for Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) has been fairly thin on the spot market in December with deals largely completed earlier in the year. UK markets continue to follow the trends seen in EU/global SMP markets.
The Cheddar trade remains mixed between the top and bottom end of the market.
The top end, ending up on the cheese board, would appear to fairly stable while the bottom end, used for manufacturing, continues to ease.