Supply - or lack of it - is the big driver of dairy markets right now. The United States (US) is a monster for milk production.

Milk production there remained below last year’s level in March. Milk production in the 24 largest states was 8,527,536t in March. This is a decrease of 0.4% compared with the same month last year.

Although the differences are limited, the milk supply is already declining for the third consecutive month.

In the first quarter of this year, the supply was 1% below the level of 2021. This is partly because of fewer cows – down 60,000 on last year.

The Netherlands is often a barometer for European prices and, this week, FrieslandCampina has increased the guaranteed price for May by no less than €4.00 per 100 kilos.

For the first time, the €50 (50c/l approx) barrier is broken at the company. This means the guaranteed price for May is € 52.50 per 100 kilos.

This week in the agribusiness feature, we highlight Carbery and the cheese business. We discuss food price inflation.

Looking across the water, what about cheese? Well, cheese prices in store are still to increase significantly. Last July, for example, a 400g block of own-label mild or mature cheddar in one of the majors was £2.00. It’s now just £2.10. A 350g pack of Cathedral City was £2.50 (with a save £1.00 offer) and now it’s £2.75. It’s a rise of 10%, therefore.

Meanwhile, the bulk price has increased from £2,950 to £4,550 – or 54%. And it’s still rising. More to come here before the consumer feels the pinch.