Market Report October/November 2013
Due to the improved weather conditions in the UK there has been an upward rise in milk volumes in the first two weeks of October compared with the same time last year. Milk collections were c 9% higher (2.9m litres). Some of this increased volume has moved into production of cheddar but only to fulfil forward contracts. The high price of cream offered by continental buyers, coupled with the weaker Sterling, has taken milk away from butter manufacture.
Butter stocks are balanced with no surpluses avaiable on the open market and this has kept butter prices stable. Manufacturers prefer to sell the buttercream as liquid for export to the continent as it has no churning or storage costs applied and therefore the price returned is more advantageous. Demand therefore for butter is still strong, despite small volumes of Private Storage Aid butter now accessing the market.
Skimmed Milk Powder
There has been a seasonal drop off in demand for this product and together with buyers covered until the end of the year this has resulted in a drop in prices.
Because young cheddar curd (7 day old) is in demand and commanding high prices, the cheddar has not been stored for maturing and this keepts stock levels tight. Slicing and grating cheddar availability remains an issue, with sellers ensuring regular customers are prioritised. It is anticipated cheddar markets will remain firm for the foreseeable future.