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Market Report September 2013


The price of cheddar continues to rise due to lack of availability resulting from the continuing global shortage of milk.  The view that cheese prices will rise through out the summer has materialised and all current indications are that they will continue rising into the autumn.

Reasons for Increases

The lack of milk is global, poor weather in Europe/UK has led to a poor spring flush, with droughts in other parts of the word, specifcially New Zealand during their last summer.  Due to the lack of sufficient milk volumes and product being diverted into production of powders and other dairy products, the manufacture of cheddar has been less this year which has caused prices to rise dramatically.  In many cases manufacturers are getting good prices for young cheddar curd, not needing to leave to develop to mild or mature cheddars.  With resulting tighter availability for more mature products.

 Recent Additional Factors

The situation may be further exasperated going forward with the Clostridium botulinum quality issues surrouding Fonterra supplied Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC).  Both China and Russian trading blocks have temporarily banned some imports from New Zealand and will be seeking product from other sources.  With a quick return and higher prices available to producers, powders will be extremely attractive to them.  With milk diverting into ‘filling the hole’ in powder supply, it could lead to less production being put into cheese, leading to further tightening of availability.


Cheese will be a rare commodity through the autumn and possibly into the New Year, particularly on coloured and mature cheddars.


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